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Copper futures rise with supply disruption concerns in focus

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Shutterstock photo - - Copper prices edged higher on Tuesday, as concerns over a disruption to supplies supported prices.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, copper for May delivery tacked on 2.8 cents, or 1.04%, to trade at $2.745 a pound during European morning hours.

A day earlier, copper shed 1.7 cents, or 0.62%, in choppy trade to settle at $2.717. Futures were likely to find support at $2.693, the low from April 6, and resistance at $2.831, the high from April 6.

Copper prices have been well-supported in recent months as a disruption to mining output in Chile, Indonesia and Australia prompted traders to reassess the outlook for global supply and demand.

Before the recent wave of disruptions, many market analysts anticipated that copper production from mines would exceed demand in 2015 for the first time in six years. Now, some are predicting a deficit.

Prices of the red metal are up almost 14% since hitting a recent low of $2.420 on January 26.

Elsewhere on the Comex, gold futures for June delivery slumped $9.50, or 0.78%, to trade at $1,209.10 a troy ounce, while silver futures for May delivery dropped 31.2 cents, or 1.82% to trade at $16.79 an ounce.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback's strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.6% to trade at 97.79 early on Tuesday.

Gold often moves inversely to the U.S. dollar, as prices become more expensive for buyers using other currencies.

The dollar pushed higher against the euro and the yen on Tuesday, having regained almost all the ground lost in the wake of Friday's unexpectedly weak U.S. jobs report.

The Labor Department reported Friday that the U.S. economy added 126,000 new jobs in March, the smallest increase since December 2013.

The disappointing data makes it more likely that the Federal Reserve will wait until the end of the year to raise interest rates from record low levels. Market players had previously speculated that U.S. interest rates could start to rise as early as June.

Gold prices are up nearly 6% since hitting a recent low of $1,140.60 on March 17, as indications that the U.S. economy slowed in the first quarter fuelled bets the Fed will hold off on hiking interest rates until late 2015.

A delay in raising interest rates would be seen as bullish for gold, as it decreases the relative cost of holding on to the metal, which doesn't offer investors any similar guaranteed payout. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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