SINGAPORE, March 24 (Reuters) - Copper prices rose on Tuesday as coronavirus-containment efforts in major mining countries fueled supply concerns and sentiment improved after the U.S. Federal Reserve rolled out an array of stimulus measures.
The Fed will back purchases of corporate bonds, backstop direct loans to companies and “soon” roll out a program to get credit to small and medium-sized business, while Germany and Australia also provided support for their economies.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) rose 2% to $4,721.50 a tonne by 0236 GMT, and the most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) advanced 4.2% to 38,160 yuan ($5,392.72) a tonne.
Copper is often seen as the gauge of global economic health, which has been dampened by the coronavirus outbreak that has killed more than 14,000 people and infected over 300,000 worldwide.
Pandemic containment measures in mining countries also underpinned prices, with Congo imposing a two-day lockdown in part of its copper heartland.
Chilean copper miner Codelco said low prices put some of its projects “at risk,” while top listed copper producer Freeport-McMoRan Inc said it will slash output due to the pandemic.
* NICKEL: The global nickel market surplus widened to 13,100 tonnes in January from a surplus of 5,200 tonnes in the previous month.
* PRICES: LME nickel rose 2.9% to $11,190 a tonne and lead advanced 1.6% to $1,639 a tonne while ShFE tin jumped 4.3% to 112,170 yuan a tonne and lead increased 2.1% to 13,430 yuan a tonne.
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* Asian stocks rallied as the U.S. Federal Reserve’s sweeping pledge to spend whatever it took to stabilise the financial system eased debt market pressures.
0815 France Markit Serv, Comp, Mfg Flash PMIs March
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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 = 7.0762 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Aditya Soni)