NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Base metals are expected to trade in the positive territory Friday, finding support from strong equities and lower U.S. Dollar. Among the data releases from the U.S., wholesale inventories for the month of June are expected to come in at 0.40%.On Thursday, both initial jobless claims and continuing claims data came in above expectations. Jobless claims stood at 454,000, while the expected number was 460,000. Continuing claims stood at 4.413 million, better than the expected figure of 4.60 million. Copper: Copper for delivery within three months gained 1.1% to $6,690 per metric ton in early hours of trading on the London Metal Exchange (LME). Copper inventories maintained by LME declined 0.6% to 439,000 tonnes, a seven-month low. Zambia, Africa's largest copper producer, is mulling increasing its copper production to 1 million tonnes from the current 700,000 tonnes in the next 4 years, in order to meet expected increase in global demand. Moreover, o Xstrata, world's fourth largest copper producer, has unveiled its plans to invest $1.47 billion in its mine operations which will boost its production by 50% to 1.5 million tonnes by 2014. Copper might face resistance at $6,723 and $6,748, while support lies at $6,695. Aluminum: Aluminum for delivery within three months rose 0.1% to $1,988 per metric ton in early hours of trading on the LME. Stockpiles maintained by LME shed 5,675 tonnes to close at 4.40 million tonnes. Aluminum Corp of China ( ACH) plans to issue RMB 1 billion worth 5-year medium-term notes on July 15 through the national inter-bank bond market, the company said. Aluminum faces stiff resistance at $1,995 and $1,999, while support lies at $1,986. Nickel: Nickel for delivery within three months lost 0.5% to $19,300 per metric ton in early hours of trading on the LME. Inventories declined slightly to 121,326 tonnes from 121,716 tonnes. On Thursday, Vale ( VALE) announced that the strike at its Sudbury nickel operations has ended and a new 5-year agreement has been ratified with production and maintenance employees. Nickel might face resistance at $19,352 and $19,365, while support lies at $19,313.
Lead: Lead for delivery within three months increased 0.1% to $1,829 per metric ton in early hours of trading on the LME. Stockpiles maintained by LME shed 500 tonnes to close at 189,350 tonnes. Zinc: Zinc for delivery within three months lost 0.6% to $1,844.25 per metric ton in early hours of trading on the LME. Zinc inventories added 250 tonnes to close at 616,825 tonnes. Zinc faces resistance at $1,864, while support lies at $1,839 and $1,827.