February 11, 2020 / 5:11 AM / 9 days ago

METALS-Base metals rise as firmer equities boost sentiment

Feb 11 (Reuters) - Industrial metals prices rose on Tuesday as sentiment was supported by a record high U.S. equities market and as some factories in China started resuming production.

London Metal Exchange’s three-month copper increased 1% to $5,725 a tonne by 0444 GMT, nickel climbed 2.3% to $13,185 a tonne, zinc advanced 1.3% to $2,162 a tonne and aluminium rose 0.9% to $1,717 a tonne.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closed at record highs on Monday as Chinese workers and factories slowly returned to business.

Apple’s main iPhone maker Foxconn got the green light on Monday 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 told Reuters.

The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange advanced 0.3% to 45,620 yuan ($6,538.25) a tonne, aluminium rose 0.8% to 13,795 yuan a tonne, nickel climbed 1.6% to 106,180 yuan a tonne while zinc fell 0.3% to 17,095 yuan a tonne.

The death toll from the coronavirus epidemic in mainland China soared past 1,000 with a record daily rise in fatalities. However, the number of new confirmed cases fell.

FUNDAMENTALS

* STIMULUS: China’s central bank should consider lowering its benchmark deposit rate to enable banks to reduce lending rates and help small businesses weather the economic fallout from the fast-spreading coronavirus, a central bank adviser 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.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian share markets followed Wall Street higher even as doubts grew about how quickly China’s factories could get back to work given that the coronavirus continues to spread and deaths mount.

DATA/EVENTS AHEAD (GMT)

0930 UK GDP Estimate MM, 3M/3M, YY Dec

0930 UK Manufacturing Output MM Dec

0930 UK GDP Prelim QQ, YY Q4

PRICES

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 = 6.9774 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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