LIVE FUTURES REPORT 06/10: Comex copper tumbles amid US jobs report

Comex copper prices retreated in the morning of Friday October 6 in the USA, after the latest employment report showed a drop in US employment figures for the first time in six years.

Copper for December settlement on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 1.85 cents or 0.6% to $3.0280 per lb. Yesterday, the contract was trading at a three-week high.

During September, 33,000 Americans exited the labour force for the first time in six years, which was a big miss from the 82,000 new jobs forecast. Still, average hourly earnings ticked up 0.5% and the headline unemployment rate fell to 4.2%.

Analysts attribute the decline to Hurricane Harvey, which devastated the Houston metro area and forced thousands out-of-work.

Yesterday, copper prices initially rallied on news of an earthquake in Chile, although early reports suggested damage was minimal to copper assets.

Chilean copper producers Codelco and Antofagasta reported no damage to their operations. The two miners have facilities close to the city of Calama, where the earthquake occurred.

In the precious metals space, Comex gold for December delivery fell by $7.10 or 0.6% to $1,266.10 per oz.

Currency moves and data releases

  • The dollar index was up 0.09% to 93.99 – its strongest level since it peaked at 94.15 on August 17. 
  • Kathy Lien, managing director of FX strategy for BK Asset Management, noted that the latest string of positive US economic reports, including jobless claims falling, the trade deficit narrowing and the amount of factory orders increasing, lent support to the dollar. 
  • In other commodities, the Texas light sweet crude oil spot price collapsed 2.68% to $49.43 per barrel. The dip in oil prices is primarily due to a recovery in US crude exports and falling European refining margins; both of which are major factors undermining the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries efforts to curtail production. 
  • Later today, US Federal Open Market Committee members William Dudley and Robert Kaplan are speaking.