February 18, 2020 / 7:08 AM / 3 months ago

METALS-London copper dips as virus outbreak weighs on China demand

(Updates prices)

By Mai Nguyen

Feb 18 (Reuters) - London copper prices dipped on Tuesday on concerns over lower demand from top consumer, China, due to the coronavirus outbreak, which also took a toll on U.S. tech giant Apple Inc’s revenue targets.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was down 0.4% at $5,790 a tonne, as of 0719 GMT.

Sentiment was hurt after Apple warned it was unlikely to meet its March quarter sales guidance due to a slower-than-expected ramp up in manufacturing facilities in China.

Meanwhile, the number of new infections in China fell below 2,000 for the first time since January, but experts said the outbreak has not been contained.

“Most of China’s industry was due to reopen yesterday but the truth is that very little is actually happening due to quarantine rules and travel restrictions,” said Malcolm Freeman of Kingdom Futures.

“The stark fact is that China is shut and the knock-on effects are echoing around the world ... and it is not going to improve in a hurry,” said Freeman.

Nickel dipped 0.3% to $13,965 a tonne, zinc declined 0.7% to $2,156.50 a tonne, lead dropped 0.5% to $1,863.50, while aluminium eased 0.1% to $1,719.50 a tonne.


* CHINA: Some overseas buyers of Chinese metal products have stopped accepting shipments amid the coronavirus outbreak, while other clients - including from India - are seeking damages due to a failure to deliver on time, a China trade body said.

* COPPER: Yangshan copper premium SMM-CUYP-CN rose to a three-month high of $60 a tonne, data by Shanghai Metals Market showed.

* BHP: BHP Group will be looking to expand in copper and nickel to position itself well in a world that is decarbonising, Chief Executive Mike Henry said.

* SHANGHAI PRICES: The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed up 0.2% at 46,120 yuan ($6,586.41) a tonne, aluminium rose 0.4% to 13,705 yuan a tonne, while lead was up 0.4% at 14,395 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 = 7.0023 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Arun Koyyur)

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