Investing.com - Copper prices swung between small gains and losses on Thursday, as investors looked ahead to the conclusion of the European Central Bank's monthly policy meeting later in the session as well upcoming U.S. employment data.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, copper for December delivery declined 0.3 cents, or 0.1%, to trade at $3.005 a pound during European morning hours.
A day earlier, prices fell by as much as 1.75% to touch a daily low of $2.964 a pound, a level not seen since October 17, before ending at $3.007, down 1.1 cents, or 0.36%.
Futures were likely to find support at $2.964, the low from November 5, and resistance at $3.073, the high from November 4.
Investors were awaiting the outcome of the ECB meeting later in the day after the Bank of Japan's surprise stimulus move last week fuelled expectations that it will soon follow suit in order to spur growth and inflation in the euro area.
The bank's latest policy announcement was given extra significance following recent reports of tensions within the ECB over President Mario Draghi's leadership style.
Opposition to Draghi could make an easing program by the central bank harder to implement.
Meanwhile, market players looked ahead to the release of the latest U.S. nonfarm payrolls report on Friday, for further indications on the strength of the recovery in the labor market.
Market analysts expect the data to show that the U.S. economy added 231,000 jobs in October, after a gain of 248,000 in September.
The ADP nonfarm payrolls report released Wednesday showed that the U.S. private sector added 230,000 jobs in October, above expectations for jobs growth of 220,000.
Separately, the Institute of Supply Management said that its non-manufacturing index slowed to 57.1 last month from 58.6 in September, but the employment component of the index rose, boosting the outlook for the labor market.
Elsewhere on the Comex, gold futures for December delivery shed $2.60, or 0.23%, to trade at $1,143.10 a troy ounce, while silver futures for December delivery dipped 19.2 cents, or 1.24% to trade at $15.24 an ounce.
The precious metal complex has been under heavy selling pressure in recent weeks amid speculation the Federal Reserve is moving closer to raising interest rates for the first time in eight years after ending its monthly bond-buying program, also known as quantitative easing, last month.
Gold, which yields nothing and costs money to hold, is seen as a less attractive investment during times of rising interest rates.
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