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METALS-Copper falls as virus outbreak stokes demand worries

 (Updates prices, recasts)
    By Mai Nguyen
    Feb 7 (Reuters) - Copper prices fell on Friday as the
mounting death toll from a coronavirus outbreak in China raised
fears of potential economic damage and lower demand for metals
in the world's second-largest economy.
    Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME)
        fell 0.4% to $5,713.50 a tonne by 0744 GMT, while the
most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange
         closed down 0.6% at 45,670 yuan ($6,545.89) a tonne.
    Moves in other metals were mixed on both bourses as a rally 
ran out of steam. 
    LME aluminium         rose 0.4% to $1,744 a tonne, nickel
        advanced 0.3% to $13,095 a tonne, while zinc        
edged down 0.2% to $2,202 a tonne.
    In Shanghai, aluminium          rose 0.5% to 13,725 yuan,
while nickel          dipped 0.1% to 105,260 yuan a tonne, zinc
         decreased 0.3% to 17,295 yuan a tonne, and lead
         fell 0.7% to 14,070 yuan a tonne.
    The death toll from the coronavirus epidemic crossed 630 in
mainland China, while the number of cases totalled more than
31,100, according to latest data.             
    Guangxi Nanguo Copper smelter has declared force majeure on
deliveries of copper concentrate as a result of the outbreak,
sources told Reuters.              
    China's economy could be disrupted in the first quarter due
to the outbreak, but it is expected to recover once the virus is
brought under control, a vice governor of the central bank said.
            
    "We hold on to our core view for metal prices to head
slightly higher in 2020 in general compared to 2019," said Fitch
Solutions, expecting a recovery in the second half of 2020 as
the outbreak eases and China steps up fiscal support measures.
    "Nevertheless, the balance of risks to our 2020 price
forecasts is tilted to the downside, as a prolonged spreading of
the coronavirus could push metals below key levels of support,
which would prompt us to review our forecasts," Fitch said.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * BARRICK/GRASBERG: Barrick Gold Corp          is interested
in Freeport McMoRan Inc        's flagship Grasberg mine in
Indonesia, Chief Executive Mark Bristow said.
    * INDONESIA NICKEL: The first battery-grade nickel and
cobalt project in Indonesia using high-pressure acid leaching
technology could start commissioning in the second half of 2020,
consultancy firm CRU Group said.             
    * For the top stories in metals and other news, click       
          or             
                
    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
                
                
                
                
                
    

($1 = 6.9769 Chinese yuan)

 (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Aditya Soni and Subhranshu
Sahu)
  
 
 
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