July 30, 2020 / 10:12 AM / 6 days ago

METALS-Copper slips on rising virus cases, economic worries

(Updates prices)

By Eric Onstad

LONDON, July 30 (Reuters) - Copper prices slipped on Thursday as investor confidence was hit by a resurgence of coronavirus cases and more evidence of the economic impact of the pandemic.

“I have the strong feeling that this V-shaped recovery is being questioned, or at least taking a pause,” said analyst Carsten Menke at Julius Baer in Zurich.

Florida reported a record increase in new COVID-19 deaths for a third consecutive day on Thursday while Australia and India reported record daily coronavirus infections.

Data showed Europe’s biggest economy Germany had shrunk by a record 10.1% the second quarter and the U.S. economy contracted at a 32.9% annualized rate, its steepest pace since the Great Depression.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 0.5% at $6,445 a tonne at 1600 GMT.

It had surged more than 50% during a rebound from lows in March to a two-year peak of $6,633 a tonne on July 13, partly due to worries about supply from top producer Chile.

“The copper supply disruptions in Chile do not seem to be materialising. Even though they are being affected by the virus, they seem to be keeping production up, so some of this bullishness is fading,” Menke said.

Prices are likely to move sideways to slightly lower in the short term, with $6,250 fair value, he added.

* COPPER PREMIUM: The Yangshan copper premium SMM-CUYP-CN in China has declined to $86.50 a tonne, the lowest since June 16 and down from $99 two weeks ago.

* SHANGHAI ALUMINIUM: The most-traded September aluminium contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange hit a more than two-year high, ending up 1.8% at 14,720 yuan a tonne, on a better-than-expected recovery in top consumer China.

* PRICES: LME aluminium shed 0.2% to $1,722 a tonne after touching $1,731.50, the highest since March 5, while lead gave up 0.5% to $1,864.

Zinc dropped 0.1% to $2,295.50, having hit a six-month high of $2,312, nickel fell 0.9% to $13,745, and tin lost 0.5% to $17,845.

* For the top stories in metals and other news, click or ($1 = 7.0026 yuan) (Additional reporting by Mai Nguyen in Singapore; Editing by Jan Harvey, Kirsten Donovan, Alexandra Hudson)

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