By Mai Nguyen
Feb 25 (Reuters) - London industrial metals prices rose on Tuesday, recovering slightly after dropping in the previous session, but gains were capped as the coronavirus continued to spread quickly outside China.
Hopes that China will support the economy with more stimulus also supported sentiment.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.6% to $5,724.50 a tonne by 0638 GMT, aluminium edged 0.2% higher to $1,702.50 a tonne, nickel advanced 1.8% to $12,655 a tonne, zinc rose 0.5% to $2,057 a tonne and lead increased 1.1% to $1,840 a tonne.
Worries over the virus spreading quickly in Italy and South Korea had pushed LME copper to a two-week low in the previous session, while zinc dropped to its lowest since June 2016 amid rising stockpiles.
* CHINA: In China, 86.3% of nonferrous metal firms have gone back to work after an extended Lunar New Year break due to the virus, the secretary general of the National Development and Reform Commission said on Monday.
* VIRUS: The coronavirus outbreak can still be beaten, the World Health Organization said on Monday, insisting it was premature to declare it a pandemic even though it had the potential to reach that level.
* GRASBERG: Freeport McMoRan Inc is not interested in selling its Grasberg copper and gold mine in Indonesia, Chief Executive Richard Adkerson said, tamping down speculation of a deal with Canadian miner Barrick Gold Corp.
* SHFE PRICES: The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange advanced 0.1% to 45,760 yuan ($6,513.42) a tonne, nickel rose 0.8% to 102,730 yuan a tonne, zinc dropped 1.3% to 16,505 yuan a tonne and lead increased 0.4% to 14,510 yuan a tonne.
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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
ARBS ($1 = 7.0255 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Additional reporting by Tom Daly in Beijing; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Maju Samuel)