LONDON, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Copper prices slid on Monday from their highest in more than two years as COVID-19 cases surged, threatening to curb economic activity and metals demand.
Most industrial metals prices were weaker along with crude oil and European equities, which hit seven-week lows as rising virus infection rates in Europe prompted renewed lockdown measures in some countries while a lack of U.S. stimulus also weighed on sentiment.
“We’re heading into the autumn/winter season and there’s no sign of the coronavirus going away with the further spread in Europe and the U.S. That’s going to hit the economic data in coming weeks and months,” said Xiao Fu, head of commodity market strategy at Bank of China International in London.
“Also, as we head towards the U.S. election, we could see quite turbulent markets, and there are also geopolitical risk factors globally, so that could contribute to the risk-off sentiment as well.”
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) had shed 1.7% to $6,700 a tonne by 1610 GMT after touching its highest since June 2018 at $6,877.50.
* The dollar index soared, making metals priced in the U.S. currency more expensive for buyers using other currencies.
* The premium for cash LME copper over the three-month contract CMCU0-3 spiked by Friday's close to $40.25 a tonne, its highest since March 2019, indicating tight supplies. It pared gains on Monday to $31.
* Steel prices slipped on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, weighing on prices of zinc and nickel, used to produce galvanised steel and stainless steel respectively.
* Global primary aluminium output fell to 5.485 million tonnes in August from a revised 5.489 million tonnes in July, data showed.
* LME aluminium slipped 0.7% to $1,779.50 a tonne, zinc dropped 3% to $2,463 and lead fell 1.2% to $1,890.
Nickel shed 2.5% to $14,530 after touching $14,300, the lowest since Aug. 14, while tin lost 0.5% at $18,020.
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