April 6, 2012 / 4:25 AM / in 6 years

METALS-Shanghai copper edges up, helped by U.S. jobless data

* Shanghai copper up nearly 1 pct
    * LME closed for trading until Tuesday
    * Chinese traders cautious ahead of key U.S. and China data
    * US jobless claims lowest since 2008
    * Coming Up: U.S. nonfarm payrolls, March 

 (Updates prices, adds quotes)	
    By Carrie Ho	
    SHANGHAI, April 6 (Reuters) - Shanghai copper firmed on
Friday, tracking slight gains in London prices in the previous
session following the release of positive initial jobless claims
data from the United States.	
    Caution ruled with the London Metal Exchange closed until
Tuesday for the Easter holiday and the release of U.S. nonfarm
payrolls numbers DUE later in the day, before key Chinese trade
data next week. 	
    The most active July copper contract on the Shanghai Futures
Exchange inched up 0.8 percent to 60,440 yuan
($9,600)per tonne by the midday close, after Thursday's drop of
0.7 percent on the ShFE and a modest 0.1 percent uptick on the
    "There hasn't been much movement in copper prices today,
with nothing in particular to push things along. Copper is
expected to be stuck between 55,000 and 60,000 yuan for a while
more," said CRU analyst Qu Yi. 	
    "I expect prices to be pushed to the lower end of the range
by low spot demand in China in the longer term, but not anything
lower than that."	
    Andy Du, director of Orient Futures Derivatives, said, "Any
copper price falls will not be drastic since the Chinese
government seems to be leaning towards monetary loosening."	
    Lending support to sentiment were initial claims for
unemployment benefits in the United States. The figure dropped
to the lowest level in nearly four years last week, according to
a government report that showed ongoing healing in the labor
    A more important employment report on U.S. nonfarm payrolls
will be released later in the day. 	
    Economists polled by Reuters expect these figures to show
the world's largest economy adding 203,000 jobs last month,
representing a fourth straight month of solid job creation and
the longest stretch of monthly employment gains topping 200,000
since 1999. 	
    Also supporting base metals prices were China shares, which
ended up 0.2 percent in thin volume on Friday, moving around a
key psychological level as investors awaited a slew of economic
data next week which could signal possible policy changes. 	
    The Shanghai base metals complex was up 0.9 percent
collectively, although the euro is poised to post its worst week
in nearly four months.	
    The currency is languishing a little above a three-week low
against the dollar on Friday on worries about rising Spanish
debt yields. 	
  Base metals prices at 0706 GMT
  Metal              Last       Change   Pct Move YTD pct chg
  SHFE CU FUT JUL2    60440       470     +0.78    -15.88
  SHFE AL FUT JUN2    16190       120     +0.75     -3.86
  HG COPPER MAY2     379.55      0.50     +0.00    -14.51
  SHFE ZN FUT JUL2    15670       200     +1.29    -19.54
  SHFE PB FUT         15680       150     +0.97    -14.55
   Shanghai and COMEX contracts show most active months
   ^ LME 3-m copper in yuan, including 17 pct VAT, minus SHFE 
 third month
 ($1=6.3153 Chinese yuan)	
 (Reporting by Carrie Ho; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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