May 11, 2020 / 3:28 AM / 19 days ago

METALS-London copper hits 8-week high as more countries restart economies

SINGAPORE, May 11 (Reuters) - London copper climbed to its highest in eight weeks on Monday, boosted by expectations of better demand for metals as certain countries started to ease lockdowns put in place to curb the coronavirus pandemic.

Australia, France and Spain are slowly opening their economies, while the United Kingdom - which has the second-highest virus death toll in the world - introduced some limited easing of restrictions.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) rose as much as 1.8% to $5,370 a tonne, its highest since March 16, while the most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) advanced 1.2% to 43,840 yuan ($6,194.10) a tonne by 0303 GMT.

Copper is often used as a gauge of global economic health.

LME aluminium rose 1% to $1,500 a tonne, nickel was up 0.9% to $12,435 a tonne and zinc climbed 1% to $2,2023 a tonne.

ShFE aluminium rallied 1.1% to 12,535 yuan a tonne, nickel advanced 0.9% to 102,620 yuan a tonne and tin climbed 1.2% to 131,240 yuan a tonne.

FUNDAMENTALS

* CHINA AUTOS: Automakers’ sales in China, the world’s biggest car market, showed signs of a recovery in April.

* U.S. AIDS: The White House has started informal talks with Congress about what to include in another round of coronavirus relief legislation.

* NICKEL: ShFE will allow delivery of nickel briquettes against its futures contracts in response to rising demand for other forms of nickel, notably for electric vehicles.

* CHINA ZINC: China’s zinc and zinc alloy output rose 3.5% in April from March to 412,000 tonnes, research house Antaike data showed.

* VALE: Brazil’s Vale SA is seeing a “very vigorous” economic rebound in China, Chief Financial Officer Luciano Siani said.

* INDONESIA TIN: Indonesia exported 4,220.59 tonnes of refined tin in April, down 28% year-on-year, official data showed.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian shares followed Wall Street higher as investors looked ahead to more countries restarting their economies, even as some reported an unwelcome pick up in new coronavirus cases.

DATA EVENTS (GMT)

0645 France Reserve Assets Total April

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 = 7.0777 yuan) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

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