February 12, 2020 / 2:35 AM / 17 days ago

METALS-Copper trades in narrow range amid coronavirus uncertainty

Feb 12 (Reuters) - Copper prices were steady on Tuesday as uncertainty over the impact of the coronavirus outbreak in China capped gains even though hopes rose that the worst might have passed.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was almost unchanged at $5,743 a tonne by 0154 GMT and the most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) was nearly flat at 45,620 yuan ($6,547.07) a tonne.

The coronavirus outbreak in China may be over by April, the country’s senior medical adviser said on Tuesday, while the number of new cases fell to the lowest since Jan. 31, brightening the mood.

However, concerns remained around the impact that the virus could have on factory activity and consumer spending in the world’s second-largest economy.

FUNDAMENTALS

* PRICES: LME aluminium traded at $1,734.50 a tonne, nickel rose 0.6% to $13,185 a tonne, zinc advanced 0.8% to $2,165 a tonne and tin increased 0.5% to $16,550 a tonne, while lead fell 0.2% to $1,845.50 a tonne.

* SHFE PRICES: Aluminium was almost unchanged at 13,770 yuan a tonne, nickel dipped 0.1% to 105,890 yuan a tonne, zinc eased 0.1% to 17,100 yuan a tonne. Lead rose 0.7% to 14,145 yuan a tonne and tin edged up 0.2% to 134,890 yuan a tonne.

* COLUMN: Virus another wild card in nickel’s year of uncertainty: Andy Home

* LITHIUM: German automakers Volkswagen and Daimler have launched a study to push for more “sustainable” lithium mining in Chile, a sign of growing supply chain concerns ahead of an expected electric vehicle boom.

* For the top stories in metals and other news, click or

MARKETS NEWS

* Asian shares and Wall Street futures nudged higher amid hopes the worst of the coronavirus in China may have passed, although prevailing uncertainty about the outbreak has kept investors wary.

DATA/EVENTS AHEAD (GMT)

1000 EU Industrial Production MM, YY Dec

1200 Brazil Retail Sales YY Dec

1200 India Industrial Output YY Dec

1500 U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell

testifies on the semi-annual monetary policy

report to Congress

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

$1 = 6.9680 yuan Reporting by Mai Nguyen; editing by Uttaresh.V

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