METALS-Copper rebounds from near 4-mth low as investors review virus impact

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Jan 29 (Reuters) - London copper prices ticked up on Wednesday as investors paused to reassess the potential economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak that had sent prices down for 10 straight sessions.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) rose 0.4% to $5,727.50 a tonne by 0753 GMT, recovering from the lowest level since Oct. 10, 2019 it hit in the previous session.

“At present, the price reaction looks a bit overdone. While we don’t expect a strong rebound, we could see prices at least track sideway from here,” said commodity strategist Vivek Dhar of Commonwealth Bank.

“This over-reaction is assuming a worst case scenario but it’s very much touch-and-go. Everyday the report of death and cases is spreading and the concern is that we won’t have a full picture until the Chinese New Year holiday is over,” Dhar said.

China extended its Lunar New Year break by three days to Feb. 2 to help contain the virus.

Fears that the fast-spreading virus would hurt economic growth in China, which accounts for about half of global copper consumption, have been denting sentiment.

The London Metal Exchange index of six base metals hit its lowest in three years on Tuesday, having lost 7.7% since Jan. 20 when the outbreak started impacting market sentiment.


* VIRUS IMPACT: The virus has killed 132 people in China and the number of confirmed cases jumped by 1,459 to 5,974. Airlines were cancelling some flights to China, while some companies banned staff from travelling there.

* OTHER METALS: LME aluminium rose 0.1% to $1,754 a tonne, nickel gained 0.4% to $12,600 a tonne, zinc advanced 0.6% to $2,243.50 a tonne, while lead was almost unchanged at $1,889.50 a tonne.

* EMERGENCY: Most of the World Health Organization’s criteria for declaring a global emergency have been met, but it is awaiting clear evidence of a sustained spread of the virus outside China before doing so, experts said.

* FED: The U.S. Federal Reserve is due to decide on its interest rates policy later on Wednesday, which could affect the U.S. dollar and demand for base metals.

* FREEPORT: Freeport-McMoran Inc, the world’s largest publicly-traded copper producer, would consider acquisitions, mergers or other deals once three ongoing expansion projects finish by 2022.

* POLL: 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.

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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


Reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi; Editing by Aditya Soni and Uttaresh.V