* U.S. nonfarm payrolls up 171,000 in Oct, consensus 125,000
* Dollar up against the euro after U.S. jobs data
* Euro zone manufacturing shrinks for 15th month in Oct
LONDON, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Copper fell on Friday, on course for the fourth weekly drop, pressured by concerns about demand from top consumer China and as the dollar rose following better-than-expected labour market data from the United States. Keeping prices low was a rise in the dollar to a three week high against the euro, after better-than-expected U.S. nonfarm payrolls data. A strong dollar makes commodities priced in the U.S. unit more expensive for holders of other currencies. U.S. employers stepped up hiring in October and the jobless rate ticked higher as more workers restarted job hunts, a hopeful sign for a lacklustre economy that has dragged on President Barack Obama's re-election chances.
Copper briefly pared losses following the encouraging U.S. non-farm payrolls data, before slipping back due to a strengthening dollar. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange traded at $7,780 a tonne in official rings, down from Thursday's close of $7,826 a tonne. Despite the positive labour market data, recent economic figures continue to point to fragile growth in the global economy, raising uncertainty about the outlook for industrial metal demand. In the euro zone, manufacturing shrank for the 15th month running in October as output and new orders fell, a survey showed on Friday, likely fuelling expectations of further easing from the European Central Bank. ``I still think there is a lot to be concerned about. We have seen quite a significant retrenchment in industrial metals prices over the last six weeks and I think that could have further to run over the remainder of the year,'' said Ross Strachan, economist at Capital Economics. ``In China... we are still seeing very high stock levels at the moment especially in copper and aluminium. So even if there is an upturn in end-use demand, I don't think that is going to feed through immediately into additional units of metal demand.'' Copper prices rallied nearly 8 percent in September, fuelled by the third round of quantitative easing (QE) by the U.S. Federal Reserve, the promise of bond buying by the European Central Bank (ECB) and stimulus measures in Japan and China. Copper weakened in October, falling more than 5 percent, as expectations that real demand for metals would improve failed to materialise.
CHINA EYED In China, the world's largest consumer of copper, concerns remained about the outlook for demand which has remained sluggish this year. ``Overall, investors are bearish about copper due to weak physical demand in China, which many thought should have improved by now,'' said a Shanghai-based trader. ``While we may see prices inch down gradually in the near term, I doubt we will see a deep plunge this year since the economic data out of China and the U.S. have been encouraging.'' In industry news, Japan Pan Pacific Copper sold 120,000 tonnes of copper to China under a 2013 term contract at $85 premium, sources said.
In other metals, nickel traded at $16,200 in official rings, from Thursday's close of $16,350. Aluminium was untraded in rings, but bid at $1,959.50 a tonne from Thursday's close of $1,940. ``Prices could see another $10-15 on the upside, but we would recommend selling into strength given the market's creaky fundamentals,'' ANZ said in a note. Lead was untraded, but bid at $2,133 from $2,126.50, tin was untraded, but bid at $20,290 from $20,375 while zinc, also untraded, was bid at $1,890 from Thursday's close of $1,889. Metal Prices at1309 GMT Comex copper in cents/lb, LME prices in $/T and SHFE prices in yuan/T