May 4 (Reuters) - Money managers, including hedge funds and other large speculators, raised bullish bets in copper to the largest amount in four weeks, as prices of the industrial metal rallied to one-month highs.
Speculators raised their net long positions in the metal by 13,365 contracts to 15,582 contracts during the week ended May 1, data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) showed on Friday.
"The funds were in, buying on the idea that we may still see a QE3," said Sterling Smith, an analyst for Country Hedging Inc. in St. Paul, Minnesota.
"That is their only logical motivation to buy copper right now, simply because the global economy is not looking too healthy here. It remains weak in Europe, China's slowing down, and today's U.S. unemployment numbers were not good."
U.S. employers added just 115,000 workers to payrolls last month, or 55,000 less than economists expected. The unemployment rate fell to a three-year low at 8.1 percent, but only because the workforce shrank as people retired or stopped looking for work.
During the period covered by the data, the red metal pushed away from underlying support near $3.60 per lb to touch its priciest level in a month at $3.8590, as the prospect of further monetary easing in the United States bolstered economic sentiment and falling inventories pointed to better underlying demand for the metal used in power and construction.
The group also increased their net length in gold, adding 8,462 contracts to 116,061 contracts, the highest level since the week of April 8, when they were long on 118,185 contracts.
But speculators reduced their silver length by 191 contracts to 10,565 contracts, the lowest level since early January.