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Sharp Rise In Virus Death Toll Beats Down LME Copper

13 Feb 2020 11:05 am
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Mumbai (Commodities Control) – London copper prices fell on Thursday, as a surge in the number of deaths and infections from the coronavirus epidemic in China heightened concerns about demand from the world's top consumer of the metal.

China's Hubei province, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, said 242 people had died from the flu-like virus on Wednesday, the fastest rise in the daily count since the pathogen was identified in December.

The province also reported 14,840 new cases, dwarfing the 2,015 new confirmed cases reported in mainland China the previous day, the sharp rise following the adoption of a new methodology for diagnosis of the infection.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.1% to $5,756.50 a tonne by 0217 GMT, aluminium slid 0.2% to $1,732.50 a tonne, nickel rose 0.6% to $13,175 a tonne, zinc firmed 0.7% to $2,163.50 a tonne, while lead fell 0.4% to $1,847.50 a tonne.

The most active copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 0.3% to 45,770 yuan a tonne, aluminium declined 0.4% to 13,715 yuan a tonne, nickel advanced 0.6% to 105,840 yuan a tonne.

Rio Tinto, operator of the giant Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine in Mongolia, said its copper concentrate shipments to China had slowed due to efforts by the authorities to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Griffin Mining said it was returning essential staff to its Caijiaying mine in China to restart operations after China lifted decrees restricting all non-essential businesses due to the outbreak.

Barrick Gold Corp Chief Executive Mark Bristow said he sees no competition from rivals in his pursuit of Freeport-McMoran Inc's Grasberg copper-gold mine but cautioned any deal would take time.

Australian miner South32 Ltd reported a 80% plunge in half-year underlying profit due to a temporary tax increase and lower prices across key commodities.

(Commodities Control Bureau)

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