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Copper extends recovery as global recession fears abate

Kitco News

LONDON, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Copper continued to rebound on Friday as fears of a global recession eased after strong U.S. jobs data and investors focused on low inventories and threats to supply.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) climbed 1.8% to $7,869 a tonne by 1610 GMT, building on the previous session's 0.7% gain.

U.S. Comex futures rose 1.9% to $3.55 a lb.

Copper has recovered from three days of losses early this week prompted by weak global factory data and flaring U.S.-China tensions after U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan.

The metal used in power and construction has shed 28% since touching a record peak of $10,845 in March.

"To produce a crash in prices, a global recession would have to be synchronised, but we're not seeing that. Just Europe is in recession while China has been stabilising," said Gianclaudio Torlizzi, partner at consultancy T-Commodity in Milan.

Chinese authorities are pumping stimulus spending into the economy and launching metals-intensive infrastructure projects to lift economic growth.

U.S. data on Friday showed job growth unexpectedly accelerated in July, lifting the level of employment back to its pre-pandemic level, the strongest evidence yet that the economy was not in recession. "The tightness of (metals) supply is much higher than two years ago, so my bet is that there's the risk of a squeeze in the fourth quarter," Torlizzi added.

Metals consumers who have been waiting for lower prices will scramble to restock when they realise prices have stabilised, he added.

Most LME inventories are at historically low levels. Copper stocks , at 128,600 tonnes, have shed nearly 30% since mid-May.

Prices of other metals were mostly firmer. LME aluminium added 0.5% to $2,415.50 a tonne, lead climbed 1.3% to $2,071, its highest since June 21, and zinc gained 0.6% to $3,470.

Nickel dipped 0.1% to $22,180 while tin shed 0.6% to $24,410.

(Reporting by Eric Onstad Editing by Susan Fenton, Kirsten Donovan)
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