February 28, 2020 / 2:51 AM / a month ago

METALS-Shanghai aluminium drops to 1-year low as virus hits demand

Feb 28 (Reuters) - Shanghai aluminium prices dropped to their lowest in more than a year, as the coronavirus outbreak in top consumer China stoked worries about a demand slump and high inventories.

The most traded aluminium contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) fell as much as 1.4% to 13,220 yuan ($1,885.12) a tonne, its lowest since Feb. 15, 2019.

Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) declined 0.3% to $1,685 a tonne by 0226 GMT.

The coronavirus epidemic, which started in China, has spread to nearly 50 countries and disrupted global economic activities, mainly in China where it has killed nearly 2,800 people and infected around 78,800.

Russian aluminium group United Company Rusal said the virus would hit the Chinese market in the first half of this year with weak demand and a bigger supply surplus.

FUNDAMENTALS

* PRICES: LME nickel dipped 0.4% to $12,330 a tonne, zinc was almost unchanged at $2,011.50 a tonne, copper rose 0.2% to $5,626.50 a tonne and lead increased 0.7% to $1,821 a tonne.

* SHFE PRICES: ShFE copper declined 1% to 44,890 yuan a tonne, aluminium fell 1.3% to 13,230 yuan a tonne, nickel dropped 1.3% to 99,740 yuan a tonne and zinc decreased 2.3% to 16,040 yuan a tonne.

* CHINA: China should stockpile some non-ferrous metals to take the pressure off producers whose sales have been drying up because of the outbreak, the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association said.

* IMF: The virus will have an impact on global economic growth and the International Monetary Fund is likely to downgrade its growth forecast as result, its spokesman said.

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

MARKETS NEWS

* Global share markets headed for the worst week since the darkest days of the financial crisis in 2008 as investors braced for the coronavirus to morph into a pandemic and derail world economic growth.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

0700 UK Nationwide house price MM, YY Feb

0745 France GDP QQ Final Q4

0745 France CPI (EU Norm) Prelim YY Feb

0855 Germany Unemployment Change SA Feb

0855 Germany Unemployment Rate SA Feb

1200 India GDP Quarterly YY Q3

1300 Germany CPI, HICP Prelim YY Feb

1330 US Consumption adjusted MM Jan

1500 US U Mich Sentiment Final 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

$1 = 7.0128 Chinese yuan Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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