Eric Onstad

METALS-Copper falls on fears of coronavirus spread and strong dollar

20 Feb 2020

* Lead flipped into surplus in December (Updates with closing prices, adds nickel balance data)

GFG Alliance to invest 2 billion euros in European steel operations

19 Feb 2020

LONDON British-based conglomerate GFG Alliance will invest 2 billion euros ($2 billion), mostly in Romania and the Czech Republic, to modernize its emissions-heavy European steel plants and boost production, it said on Wednesday.

Chinese copper smelting activity slips in January - satellite index

18 Feb 2020

LONDON, Feb 18 Chinese refined copper production touched its lowest level in 20 months in January, according to an index based on satellite surveillance of copper plants.

British metals tycoon Gupta buys bankrupt steel plant in India

18 Feb 2020

LONDON British-based tycoon Sanjeev Gupta's GFG Alliance has bought a bankrupt steel plant in India for $60 million.

METALS-Zinc sinks to multi-year low on inventory jump and China fears

10 Feb 2020

* Copper treatment charges reach eight-month peak (Updates with closing prices)

METALS-Copper jumps to one-week high after China stimulus

05 Feb 2020

LONDON, Feb 5 Copper prices rebounded to their highest level in more than a week on Wednesday as investors unwound bearish positions after the central bank in China, the world's biggest metals consumer, pumped stimulus into its economy.

Uptick in world growth, supply constraints to lift copper prices- Reuters poll

28 Jan 2020

LONDON/BENGALURU The price of copper is expected to climb this year, supported by a recovery in global economic growth and problems with supply, a Reuters poll showed.

METALS-Copper in longest losing streak for six years on China virus fears

27 Jan 2020

* Nickel slides to 6-1/2 month low * Copper drops for nine consecutive sessions (Updates with closing prices) By Eric Onstad LONDON, Jan 27 Copper fell for a ninth consecutive session on Monday, the longest losing streak in six years, as investors worried that a spreading coronavirus outbreak in China would hit demand in the world's biggest metals consumer. Copper tumbled to its weakest in three months, with other industrial metals also sliding as investors took flight. The death toll from the virus rose to 81 on Monday as the government extended the Lunar New Year holiday and more big businesses shut down or told staff to work from home in an effort to curb the outbreak. Copper, regarded as a bellwether of the global economy, has given up all of its gains since early December when a rally pushed prices up nearly 10% to eight-month highs as investors welcomed the first phase of a U.S.-China trade deal and hoped for a rebound in economic growth. "Chinese demand accounts for about 50% of the majority of base metals," said BMO Capital analyst Timothy Wood-Dow, noting the spread of the virus. "On Friday, we didn't know this, it seemed quite contained. Now this wider geographical spread is very concerning, so that's feeding through to the market." Wood-Dow added that Chinese economic growth could still hit 6% this year if the virus is contained, aided by the government's determination to bolster the economy. "Probably infrastructure investment will just be pushed back to later in the year." Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) dropped 3.1% in final open-outcry trading to $5,743 a tonne, its lowest since Oct. 18. LME copper last week posted its steepest weekly loss in five years, falling 5.5%, as the virus spread. "Fingers crossed we will get good earning reports this week from U.S. companies or else the panic selling will be even worse," said one base metals trader who asked to remain anonymous. FUNDAMENTALS * NICKEL: LME nickel prices shed 2.8% to close at $12,615 a tonne, its lowest since July 9. The net speculative short position on the LME had risen to 2.9% of open interest last Thursday, according to Marex Spectron estimates. "Whilst modest in size, this is a level not seen in nickel since January 2019," the broker's Alastair Munro said in a note. * LEAD STOCKS: On-warrant LME lead inventories - material not earmarked for delivery - fell to 50,025 tonnes, the lowest since July 26 last year, daily LME data showed. The premium for cash LME lead over the three-month contract rose to $12 a tonne, the highest since Oct. 31, indicating tighter supplies. It has moved from a discount of $21.25 two weeks ago. LME three-month lead slipped 2.5% to close at $1,892 a tonne after touching $1,870, its weakest since Dec. 9. * PRICES: LME aluminium finished 1% down at $1,764, its lowest in nearly six weeks. Zinc tumbled 4.3% to $2,240, the lowest since Dec. 16, and tin dropped 3.4% to $16,270, its weakest in nearly two months. * For the top stories in metals and other news, click or (Additonal reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi and Zandi Shabalala in London; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and David Goodman)

China's Jingye, British Steel unions agree to up to 500 job cuts

24 Jan 2020

LONDON UK trade unions have reached a deal with China's Jingye Group about its provisional deal to buy British Steel, acknowledging that up to 500 jobs will go in exchange for protecting pay and employment terms.

Private equity fund GSOL eyes takeovers to expand ferronickel business

23 Jan 2020

LONDON A private equity fund, which has grown in five years to be the world's second biggest producer of stainless steel ingredient ferronickel, is holding talks about four or five potential acquisitions, one of its executives told Reuters.

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