July 2, 2015 / 10:49 AM / in 5 years

METALS-Copper buoyed by improved growth prospects for China, weaker dollar

(Adds closing prices)

* Copper’s seasonal demand lull approaching

* U.S. data disappointment weakens dollar

By Maytaal Angel and Pratima Desai

LONDON, July 2 (Reuters) - Copper prices rose on Thursday, buoyed by signs of healthier growth prospects for the metal’s top consumer China and a sliding dollar after weak U.S. monthly jobs data.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange ended up at $5,795 a tonne from $5,775 at the close on Wednesday.

“Copper should have formed a bottom around current levels. Demand is gaining momentum because the economy in China is stabilising,” said Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann.

“My year-end target (for copper) is $6,500 a tonne.”

Data on Wednesday showed China’s factory sector expanded slightly in June while growth in the services sector sped up, offering some signs the economy may be starting to level out slowly after a raft of support measures.

Also helping copper was the lower U.S. currency, which makes commodities priced in dollars cheaper for non-U.S. firms.

“The dollar has had a knee-jerk reaction to the U.S. non-farm payrolls,” a copper trader said. “It might not last, but it depends on whether people push back their expectations of when U.S. rates rise.”

U.S. non-farm payrolls were below expectations and the May and April numbers were revised down.

Traders say another reason for firmer copper prices is Chinese hedge funds taking profits on short positions to cover losses on China equities.

However, limiting copper’s gains in the near term is the seasonal third quarter demand lull.

“Physical (copper) demand is low,” Triland said in a note.

Nickel rose to $12,200 from $12,025 on Wednesday. Earlier this week it tumbled to $10,795 a tonne, its weakest since April 2009, after the Shanghai Futures Exchange said it will accept global brands for delivery against its contract, freeing up supply.

Tin ended lower, at $14,450 down from $14,545 a tonne.

Aluminium closed down at $1,724 from $1,727 a tonne. Earlier in the session it touched $1,744.50, its highest since June 12.

An oversupply of aluminium is keeping prices from rising to significantly higher levels.

Lead closed up at $1,792 a tonne, rising from $1,784 and zinc fell to $2,022 from $2,046 a tonne.

PRICES

Three month LME copper

Most active ShFE copper

Three month LME aluminium

Most active ShFE aluminium

Three month LME zinc

Most active ShFE zinc

Three month LME lead

Most active ShFE lead

Three month LME nickel

Most active ShFE nickel

Three month LME tin

Most active ShFE tin

$1 = 6.2036 Chinese yuan renminbi Editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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