METALS-Copper rises as China data, vaccine roll-out boost sentiment

(Updates prices)

HANOI, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Copper prices advanced on Wednesday as market sentiment was boosted by solid manufacturing data from top consumer China and the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines in some major economies.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.4% to $7,810 a tonne by 0713 GMT, while the most-traded January copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange climbed 0.5% to 57,850 yuan ($8,849.49) a tonne.

China’s factory output grew at its fastest pace in 20 months in November on rising demand for its manufactured goods.

Copper and most base metals are widely used in manufacturing.

Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine appeared set for U.S. regulatory authorisation this week, while Europeans could start getting vaccines before the new year.

Meanwhile, top U.S. congressional leaders began a second meeting on Tuesday to try to come up with a coronavirus aid package, fuelling hopes of further stimulus.

“Copper prices are standing at multi-year highs not seen since 2013 amidst a backdrop of solid demand from China and a heavily bullish sentiment amongst investors,” Fitch Solutions said in a report.

Investors’ sentiment towards copper is likely to remain strong in 2021 amid weakness in the dollar and the roll-out of vaccines in developed markets, Fitch said, lifting its 2021 average copper price forecast to $6,800 a tonne from $6,300 a tonne.


* LME aluminium rose 0.2% to $2,033.50 a tonne, zinc increased 1.1% to $2,844 a tonne, while ShFE aluminium was up 0.6% at 16,370 yuan a tonne and zinc advanced 1.1% to 21,645 yuan a tonne.

* ShFE nickel slipped from a 14-month high of 134,180 yuan a tonne hit earlier in the session fuelled by supply worries in New Caledonia and Indonesia, to fall 1.4% to 129,370 yuan a tonne at the close, a trader said.

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$1 = 6.5371 yuan Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Aditya Soni and Subhranshu Sahu