May 15, 2020 / 6:13 AM / 20 days ago

METALS-Copper rises on solid China data, stimulus hopes

(Updates prices)

By Mai Nguyen

SINGAPORE, May 15 (Reuters) - Copper prices advanced on Friday on data showing a solid recovery in top consumer China and hopes of more stimulus measures to cushion the fall out of the coronavirus outbreak.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 1% to $5,253.50 a tonne by 0703 GMT, rebounding from a more than one-week low hit in the previous session. But the contract was still on track to end the week slightly lower.

The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange ended up 0.3% to 43,130 yuan ($6,074.39) a tonne.

China’s factory output rose for the first time this year in April, as the world’s second-largest economy slowly emerged from its coronavirus lockdown, while fixed asset investment fell but within expectations, official data showed.

“This is a confirmation of the effectiveness of China’s government measures. As China is yet to scale back its stimulus measures, this government-driven recovery will continue,” said Helen Lau, an analyst at Argonaut Securities.

Lau added there might be risks that industrial production may see some headwinds in May due to weak exports markets, but added that the economy opening up in United States and Europe should soon limit the downside impact.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump is open to negotiations on another possible stimulus bill, while China acknowledged this week the need for more fiscal stimulus for its economy.


* CHINA ALUMINIUM: China’s aluminium output rose 1.5% in April from a year earlier, official data showed, and hit a 10-month high on a daily basis as a rapid rebound in prices kept smelter operating rates high.

* LEAD: France’s Recylex said its Weser-Metall lead production plant in Germany had filed for insolvency amid falling demand.

* U.S.-CHINA: Trump suggested he could cut ties with China, signalling a further deterioration in their relationship.

“This is not really something the industry want to see at this time... If it develops into a form of tariffs (row), it will impact commodities demand,” Lau said.

* OTHER PRICES: LME aluminium rose 0.4% to $1,481 a tonne and zinc advanced 0.5% to $1,967.50 a tonne. In Shanghai, aluminium gained 0.9% to 12,600 yuan a tonne, while nickel dropped 1.6% to 99,400 yuan a tonne.

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$1 = 7.1003 yuan Reporting by Mai Nguyen; editing by Rashmi Aich and Jason Neely

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