MCX Copper and nickel prices edged higher on Monday, erasing some of Friday’s losses as concerns over potential supply disruptions dogged both metals. Prices traded higher, after falling to a two-week low on Friday, after China’s central bank moved to tighten monetary policy. Friday also marked China’s return to the market following New Year’s celebrations. On Friday, workers at the Escondida mine in Chile, the world’s largest copper mine, moved to start mediated talks with the mine’s management over pay, which are expected to continue this week. The mine is owned by BHP Billiton Ltd. Copper traders have also been watching a dispute in Indonesia between mining giant Freeport-McMoRan Inc., which restated last week that it would need to make cuts to its operations at the Grasberg copper mine by midmonth if the company doesn’t receive an export license from the government. Nickel rose to a three-week high after the Philippines government ordered the closure of 23 mines and suspended operations at an additional five mines. The mining ban counts for about half of the country’s nickel output. Copper and nickel prices were rising despite a slightly stronger dollar on Monday. A bullish picture of economic growth is also helping metals.
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