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Copper price surges on worst US jobs number in seven months

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Copper price rose on Friday after data out of the US showed employment growth in the world’s largest economy is sputtering.

U.S. hiring downshifted abruptly in August with the smallest jobs gain in seven months, complicating a potential decision by the Federal Reserve to begin scaling back monetary support by year-end.

Nonfarm payrolls increased 235,000 last month, trailing all forecasts, after an upwardly revised 1.05 million gain in July, a Labor Department report showed Friday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for 720,000 new hires.

Employment in leisure and hospitality, which has posted strong gains recently, was flat amid the spreading delta variant and persistent hiring challenges. 

The unemployment rate fell to 5.2% from 5.4%.

“The Labour market report today is important to the assessment of the Fed,” said Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann just before the numbers were released.

“Everyone is waiting for the non-farm payroll data and they should move the base metals depending on what happens with the dollar.”

The dollar dipped supporting metals prices by making greenback-priced commodities cheaper for holders of other currencies.

Copper for delivery in December rose 1% from Thursday’s settlement price, touching $4.351 per pound ($9,572 per tonne) on the Comex market in New York.

Click here for an interactive chart of copper prices

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