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Chinese futures primed to gain on pick-up in US payroll numbers

By Michael Bellart in Shanghai (Global Times)

09:04, February 04, 2013

Chinese commodities futures booked strong gains across the board last week, which may extend into Monday due to the better-than-expected US employment data released late Friday.

The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE), for May delivery, was flat Friday, but still closed the week up 1.41 percent at 59,660 yuan ($9,574) per ton.

Domestic investor sentiment was less sanguine Friday after China's official purchasing managers index (PMI) for January slipped unexpectedly to 50.4, down from 50.6 in December, according to the Australian bank ANZ.

Still, economically sensitive commodities like copper will likely deflect the PMI figures in light of the US's positive monthly non-farm payrolls report.

The report, which was released after the Chinese mainland markets closed Friday, found that the US economy added 157,000 jobs in January. More importantly, revised data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the economy added about 335,000 more jobs in 2012 than it initially estimated.

The benchmark three-month copper contract on the London Metal Exchange (LME) added about 1.3 percent Friday to finish the week up 3.3 percent at $8,310 per ton.

In other SHFE base metals, the April lead contract rose 0.29 percent last week to close Friday at 15,505 yuan per ton. The May zinc contract added 2.62 percent to close the week at 16,045 yuan per ton, and May aluminum grew 0.6 percent to close at 15,315 yuan per ton.

US stocks and crude oil futures also rallied last week. The March Nymex crude oil contract rose 1.9 percent last week to finish at $97.77 per barrel.

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