METALS-Copper bounces on Peru strike threat, bargain hunting

(Adds possible copper strike, updates with closing prices)

LONDON, May 5 (Reuters) - Copper recovered on Friday from a five-month low as mine workers in Peru considered launching a new strike and some investors regarded the lower prices as good value.

Copper had touched a five-month low on Thursday as inventories in London Metal Exchange warehouses surged, fuelling worries about demand.

"A bit of bargain hunting seems to be coming through given the extent of the falls ... and maybe a feeling that things got a bit overdone on the downside just as they did when we were rallying," Robin Bhar, head of metals research at Societe Generale in London, said.

"A few cracks may be appearing, but I don't think these are long lasting. I think we'll hold these key support levels around current prices and look to consolidate after this week's sharp falls."

* COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange closed 0.8 percent higher at $5,585 a tonne. In the previous session, copper sank to $5,494, the lowest since Jan. 4.

* PERU: Copper prices got a boost from news that workers at Freeport-McMoRan's Cerro Verde copper mine in Peru were evaluating a new strike on Friday, a union spokesman said.

* LME STOCKS: Inventories in London Metal Exchange (LME) warehouses climbed by 36,800 tonnes, exchange data showed on Friday, bringing this week's surge to 40 percent.

"I don't think it's new material, it's metal washing around in the system," Bhar said.

* ALUMINIUM: The LME price of the metal that needs huge amounts of energy to produce shed 0.5 percent to end at $1,903, as oil prices hovered close to five-month lows.

"This oil move (lower) might just tip the scales on the aluminium price ... it should mean enough to bring the sellers to the bearish party," Matt France, head of institutional metals sales in Asia for broker Marex Spectron, said in a note.

* NICKEL: LME nickel bounced 1.4 percent to close at $9,140 after touching $8,905, the weakest since June 24 last year.

* PHILIPPINES: Investors have been worried about additional nickel supply coming from the Philippines after the removal of the country's environment minister, who had led a crackdown on mining.

* ZINC: The LME price of the metal mainly used for galvanising steel ended up 0.5 percent at $2,582 despite further losses in steel and iron ore prices.

* JOBS DATA: Weighing on metals was U.S. data that showed job growth rebounded sharply in April which could help support the case for an interest rate hike next month.

* PRICES: Lead fell 0.4 percent to finish at $2,181, while tin shed 1.4 percent to $19,575.

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Three month LME copper

Most active ShFE copper

Three month LME aluminium

Most active ShFE aluminium

Three month LME zinc

Most active ShFE zinc

Three month LME lead

Most active ShFE lead

Three month LME nickel

Most active ShFE nickel

Three month LME tin

Most active ShFE tin


(Editing by David Clarke and Jane Merriman)