January 31, 2020 / 8:25 AM / 20 days ago

METALS-Copper on course for biggest monthly fall in over 4 years

(Recasts, adds quotes, updates prices)

By Mai Nguyen

Jan 31 (Reuters) - London copper prices rose on Friday, but were on track for the biggest monthly fall since November 2015 as the coronavirus raised fears of lower demand from top metals consumer China.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) rose 0.3% to $5,601 a tonne by 0758 GMT after 12 straight sessions of losses. For the month, it is down 9.3%.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday declared the virus outbreak a global health emergency, with the death toll in China touching 213 on Friday and the number of confirmed cases rising to 9,692.

London copper has lost some 10% since the virus started making headlines last week.

"While we believe that the 2019-nCoV will likely be better managed by the Chinese authorities and is likely to prove less of a public health threat, we still see downside risks to the economy from the epidemic," Fitch Solutions said in a note.

Growth in China's factory activity faltered in January as export orders fell, with the purchasing managers' index falling to 50.0 in January from 50.2 in December.

FUNDAMENTALS

* CHINA SERVICES PMI: Growth in China's services sector activity quickened in January, with the official services PMI rising to 54.1 from 53.5 in December.

* MMG/PERU: Transportation of metal from MMG Ltd's Las Bambas copper mine in Southern Peru has been halted since Monday, as local communities protested against pollution.

* FORCE MAJEURE: A Chinese international trade promotion agency said it would offer force majeure certificates to companies struggling to cope with the impact of the new coronavirus epidemic on their business with overseas partners.

* TIN: China's refined tin imports in December were 899 tonnes, customs data showed, more than double from the previous month and almost seven times the level a year ago.

* NICKEL: China's imports of nickel ore from Indonesia leaped by nearly three-quarters in 2019 to 23.9 million tonnes as traders scrambled to ship the material before an export ban from the Southeast Asian nation took effect from this year.

* OTHER PRICES: LME aluminium fell 0.2% to $1,7280 a tonne, nickel advanced 0.4% to $12,675 a tonne, zinc increased 0.2% to $2,192.50 a tonne, lead jumped 1.2% to $1,847 a tonne and tin edged up 0.7% to $16,130 a tonne.

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PRICES

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

ARBS (Reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Uttaresh.V)

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