By Mai Nguyen
Feb 4 (Reuters) - Base metals prices on the London Metal Exchange (LME) rose on Tuesday, as supportive measures from China’s central bank calmed some investors’ concerns about the economic impact of a coronavirus outbreak in the world’s second-largest economy.
Benchmark LME three-month copper rose 2.1% to $5,642 a tonne by 0738 GMT, rebounding from a five-month low hit in the previous session and putting it on track for its first gain in 15 sessions. Nickel gained 2.8% to $13,075 a tonne and zinc climbed 2.6% to $2,202.50 a tonne.
The recovery in metals was in line with China’s currency and stock markets.
China’s central bank has flooded the economy with cash, trimmed some key lending rates and said it is determined to stabilise markets along with restoring confidence.
“In the capital market, many people are now positive and think the market has over-reacted against the coronavirus news. Shanghai A-shares (are) also up. That is a sign of stabilisation of investors’ confidence,” a Singapore-based trader said, adding that the situation, however, is far from being resolved.
Death toll from the virus outbreak in China jumped to 425 by Monday, with more than 20,000 infected, while two other deaths were reported outside of mainland China.
* ShFE: The most-active copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange ended up 0.6% to 45,260 yuan ($6,474.04) a tonne, nickel rose 2.6% to 104,420 yuan a tonne, but aluminium fell 0.4% to 13,605 yuan a tonne.
* MITSUI: Japanese trading house Mitsui & Co Ltd expects the virus to slow manufacturing activities in automobile and other sectors.
* ALUMINIUM: Aluminium output in the Middle East is at risk from an escalation of tensions in the region, said consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie.
* RUSAL: Russia’s En+ Group has raised its stake in aluminium giant Rusal after completing an asset swap with Glencore, part of a deal that has helped companies controlled by Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska to ward off U.S. sanctions.
* COPPER: Glencore Plc reported a 9% fall in fourth-quarter copper production, as its Mutanda mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo suspended operations prematurely in November.
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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
Reporting by Mai Nguyen; editing by Uttaresh.V and Subhranshu Sahu