SUN BUSINESS REPORTER writes @SunZambian

Industrial metals like copper traded in tight ranges on Friday, as investors exercised caution ahead of a key set of data from top metal player China later in the session.

According to Barclays Bank Zambia daily market update, the three-month copper price on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was almost unchanged at $5,956 a tonne.

In the same report, gold price rose on Friday and was on track to post a weekly gain, supported by an easing dollar and weaker than expected Chinese trade data which stoked global growth concerns.

Spot gold was up 0.3percent at $1,408.27 per ounce. The precious metal has risen about 0.6 percent so far this week

Om oil prices the bank reported that these rose on Friday as U.S. oil producers in the Gulf of Mexico cut more than half their output in the face of a tropical storm and as tensions continued in the Middle East.

Brent crude futures were up 37 cents, or 0.6percent, at $66.89 per barrel by 0115 GMT.

The international benchmark settled down 0.7percent on Thursday after hitting its highest since May 30 at $67.65 a barrel.

On the local money market, Barclays reported that The Zambian Kwacha firmed against the dollar on Friday supported by inflows from Corporates amid thin dollar demand from merchandise importers in a quiet trading session.   At 08:30 Hrs, commercial banks quoted the Kwacha at K12.470/12.520 per dollar, compared with K12.460/12.510 at Thursday’s close. The local unit traded steady throughout the day and closed at its opening levels. The Kwacha is likely to stay range bound in the near term.     Tight market liquidity continued to characterise the market which closed at K441.28 million from K570.93 million with the cost of borrowing funds on the interbank increasing to 10.34percent from 10.31percent. The volumes of funds traded was little changed at K149.00 million.  The bank reported The local markets were subdued on Friday with yields remaining relatively unchanged.

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