Metals: Copper Gains Amid a Labor Dispute in Chile

By Justin Yang Features Dow Jones Newswires

Copper prices advanced Tuesday on a potential supply disruption amid labor unrest in Chile.

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Copper for September delivery rose 0.1% to $2.6510 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold for August delivery, meanwhile, fell 0.3% to $1,209.50 a troy ounce.

Workers at Antofagasta PLC and Barrick Gold Corp.'s Zaldívar copper mine, which produced a little over 103,000 metric tons of copper content in 2016, voted to go on strike after wage negotiations failed, said analysts at ING Bank.

The workers still need to seek government mediation before actually going on strike, which could come as early as the start of next week, said Robin Bhar, head of metals research at Société Générale.

"Mine disruptions early this year were helping the price and I suspect that will be the case the second half this year," said Mr. Bhar.

Gold, however, continued a downward trajectory as the dollar continued to strengthen amid expectations for an interest-rate increase sometime this year.

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The WSJ dollar index, which compares the dollar against a basket of currencies, was up 0.2% to 88.50. A stronger dollar makes it more expensive for holders of other currencies to purchase dollar-denominated metals.

Investors are awaiting a raft of speeches this week from U.S. Federal Reserve members and Chairwoman Janet Yellen. Data on U.S. retail sales, industrial production figures and the consumer-price index will release on Friday, providing further clues on the health of the economy and the central bank's intentions.

Stephanie Yang contributed to this article.

Write to Justin Yang at justin.yang@wsj.com

Copper prices rose to a one-week high on Tuesday, boosted by a potential supply disruption amid labor unrest in Chile.

Copper for September delivery settled up 0.9% to $2.6720 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold for August delivery, meanwhile, gained 0.1% to $1,214.70 a troy ounce.

Workers at Antofagasta PLC and Barrick Gold Corp.'s Zaldívar copper mine, which produced a little over 103,000 metric tons of copper content in 2016, voted to go on strike after wage negotiations failed, said analysts at ING Bank.

The workers still need to seek government mediation before actually going on strike, which could come as early as the start of next week, said Robin Bhar, head of metals research at Société Générale.

"Mine disruptions early this year were helping the price and I suspect that will be the case the second half this year," said Mr. Bhar.

The WSJ dollar index, which compares the dollar against a basket of currencies, fell 0.2% to 88.19, reversing earlier gains. A weaker dollar makes it cheaper for holders of other currencies to purchase dollar-denominated metals like gold.

Investors are awaiting a raft of speeches this week from U.S. Federal Reserve members and Chairwoman Janet Yellen. Data on U.S. retail sales, industrial production figures and the consumer-price index will be released on Friday, providing further clues on the health of the economy and the central bank's intentions.

Stephanie Yang contributed to this article.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 11, 2017 15:58 ET (19:58 GMT)