Feb 19 (Reuters) - Copper prices edged up on Wednesday as concerns around the coronavirus eased after daily new infections dipped for a second straight day.
China’s National Health Commission reported 1,749 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections, the lowest daily rise since Jan. 29. The death toll, however, passed 2,000.
The outbreak has hurt economic activities in China, the world’s top consumer of metals.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) rose 0.3% to $5,787.50 a tonne by 0150 GMT, while the most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) advanced 0.1% to 46,170 yuan ($6,584.43) a tonne.
* COPPER SMELTING: Chinese refined copper production touched its lowest level in 20 months in January, but evidence does not show the extreme weakness that was feared due to the virus outbreak, a satellite surveillance of copper plants showed.
* CHINA IMPORTS: China’s imports of refined copper are likely to slide for a second year running in 2020 while the country’s aluminium consumption will dip slightly after a rare fall in 2019, research house Antaike said.
* CHILE: Copper prices is expected to rebound in the coming months from a downturn in demand caused by the coronavirus outbreak in China, Chilean mining minister Baldo Prokurica said.
* EV: Tesla is in advanced stages of talks to use batteries from CATL that contain no cobalt in electric vehicle (EV) batteries for cars made at its China plant, sources said.
* PRICES: LME aluminium advanced 0.1% to $1,722 a tonne and nickel rose 1.3% to $12,980 a tonne. ShFE aluminium increased 0.2% to 13,715 yuan a tonne while nickel was up 0.3% to 104,710 yuan a tonne.
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* Asian shares and U.S. stock futures edged cautiously higher as investors tried to shake off worries about the coronavirus epidemic following the slight decline in new cases.
0030 Australia Wage Price Index QQ, YY Q4
0930 UK CPI Jan
1330 US Housing Starts Number Jan
1900 US Federal Open Market Committee will
release the minutes from its January
28-29 policy meeting
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 = 7.0120 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; editing by Uttaresh.V)
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