By Mai Nguyen
Feb 11 (Reuters) - Base metal prices advanced on Tuesday as sentiment was lifted by a slowdown in new coronavirus cases in China and as Wall Street notched closing record highs.
London Metal Exchange’s three-month copper was up 0.9% at $5,719 a tonne by 0718 GMT. Nickel climbed 2.3% to $13,185 a tonne, zinc advanced 1% to $2,155 a tonne and aluminium rose 0.6% to $1,712 a tonne.
The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closed at all-time peaks on Monday as Chinese workers and factories slowly returned to business.
U.S. stock indexes notched record highs overnight and Chinese securities have gained as well, so sentiment has improved, an industry source said.
The death toll from the coronavirus epidemic in mainland China crossed 1,000 on Tuesday. However, the number of new confirmed cases fell.
The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed up 0.2% to 45,580 yuan ($6,532.89) a tonne, aluminium rose 0.7% to 13,780 yuan a tonne, nickel climbed 1.6% to 106,190 yuan a tonne, while zinc fell 0.3% to 17,100 yuan a tonne.
The re-openings of some factories in China also provided some support, although investors were still concerned about the slow pace of restart.
Apple’s main iPhone maker Foxconn got the green light to reopen two major plants in China closed because of a coronavirus outbreak and aims to resume production even though only 10% of the workforce has returned so far, a source said.
* COPPER: Spot charges for processing copper concentrate in China have risen to their highest in eight months as the coronavirus outbreak and associated constraints on production and logistics leave smelters unable to take shipments.
* ALUMINA: Alumina prices in central China SMM-ALM-CCHN, which includes provinces of Henan and the virus epicentre of Hubei, rose to 2,480 yuan a tonne as of Feb. 10, the highest in two months as the cost of getting bauxite to alumina refineries firmed.
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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 = 6.9697 Chinese yuan renminbi) ($1 = 6.9770 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Additional reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Aditya Soni and Amy Caren Daniel)