March 25, 2020 / 2:15 AM / 8 days ago

METALS-Copper rises on U.S. stimulus hopes, supply worries

SINGAPORE, March 25 (Reuters) - Copper prices rose on Wednesday on concerns about supply due to coronavirus-driven lockdowns in mining countries and as U.S. lawmakers appeared closer to passing a $2 trillion stimulus package.

Gains, however, were capped by demand worries as more countries in Asia and Europe imposed self-isolation to arrest the spread of the virus.

The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE) rose 1.7% to 38,800 yuan ($5,504.72) a tonne by 0151 GMT, and three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) advanced 0.1% to $4,818.50 a tonne.

Democrats and Republicans in the divided U.S. Congress said they were close to the stimulus package deal, while rising lock downs and transport restrictions in mining countries fed fears of supply disruptions.

“Although the lock downs remain concerning for demand revival, supply side adjustments could also play a role in managing the market balance,” ANZ said in a note.

FUNDAMENTALS

* CHINA COPPER: Charges for processing copper concentrate in China have fallen for the first time since December, as the pandemic hit operations at overseas mines and leave smelters uncertain over future supply.

* ALUMINIUM: Chinese aluminium smelters have cut their annual production capacity by up to 340,000 tonnes in response to a coronavirus-driven plunge in prices of the metal.

* FIRST QUANTUM: Canadian miner First Quantum Minerals Ltd said production at its Cobre Panama copper mine would ramp up at a slower-than-expected pace after several workers contracted with the virus.

* OTHER PRICES: LME aluminium rose 0.7% to $1,559 a tonne, lead advanced 2.2% to $1,620.50 a tonne while ShFE aluminium increased 0.3% to 11,430 yuan a tonne and lead fell 0.6% to 13,340 yuan a tonne.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian shares extended their rally in the wake of Wall Street’s big gains as U.S. Congress appeared closer to passing a the stimulus package to curb the pandemic’s economic toll.

0700 UK CPI YY FEB

0900 Germany Ifo Business Climate New March

0900 Germany Ifo Curr Conditions New March

0900 Germany Ifo Expectations New March

1230 US Durable Goods Feb

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 = 7.0485 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Aditya Soni)

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