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METALS-Shanghai copper gains for third session as Trump approves U.S. stimulus

(Updates prices, adds quotes)

HANOI, Dec 28 (Reuters) - Shanghai copper prices advanced for a third straight session on Monday, as demand prospects improved after U.S. President Donald Trump approved a coronavirus stimulus package to support the country’s economy.

Trump on Sunday signed into law a $2.3 trillion pandemic aid and spending package, officials said, backing down from his threat to block the bill earlier this month.

The most-traded February copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange ended up 0.9% at 58,770 yuan ($8,998.07) a tonne.

“Copper might rise further as the supply is still a little bit tight and there might be more monetary loosening as well,” said a China-based copper analyst.

ShFE nickel advanced 1% to 127,800 yuan a tonne and lead jumped 1.5% to 14,860 yuan a tonne, while aluminium fell 2.3% to 15,565 yuan a tonne.

The London Metal Exchange is closed for a public holiday.

Also helping metals were profits at China’s industrial firms that grew in November for a seventh straight month, supported by strong industrial production and sales, as factories continue their recovery from the COVID-19 slump.

FUNDAMENTALS

* China’s November imports of copper concentrate from Australia plunged for a second month to the lowest since at least 2016, customs data showed, as a bilateral trade dispute slams China’s demand for Australian supply of the commodity.

* Australia-based miner MMG Ltd said on Thursday that transport had been temporarily disrupted due to road blocks by local residents near its Las Bambas copper mine in Peru, forcing it to declare force majeure on some supply contracts.

* The premium for aluminium shipments to Japanese buyers for January to March was set at $130 a tonne, up 48% from the current quarter, as demand recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic-induced slump, sources said.

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$1 = 6.5314 yuan Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi

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