March 11, 2020 / 3:40 AM / 22 days ago

METALS-Copper rises on stimulus hopes, unabating virus spread caps gains

SINGAPORE, March 11 (Reuters) - Copper prices rose on Wednesday on hopes of stimulus measures by various countries to cushion the economic damage from the coronavirus outbreak, although gains were capped as the epidemic showed no signs of slowing outside China.

The White House and the Congress negotiated measures on Tuesday to bolster the U.S. economy against the outbreak's impact, while Japan announced a second package of measures worth about $4 billion.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) rose 0.6% to $5,597.50 a tonne by 0252 GMT, while the most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures (ShFE) advanced 0.3% to 44,290 yuan ($6,364.24) a tonne.

Death toll in Italy due to the coronavirus jumped to 631, while China's new cases rose for the first time in five days as infected individuals arrived from overseas.

Globally here the virus has infected more than 116,000 people and killed over 4,000.

FUNDAMENTALS

* PRICES: LME nickel rose 1.5% to $12,860 a tonne, zinc rallied 1.9% to $2,013.50 a tonne, lead increased 1.1% to $1,814.50 a tonne, ShFE nickel advanced 0.7% to 102,990 yuan a tonne and ShFE zinc was up 1.3% at 16,045 yuan a tonne.

* LITHIUM: Albemarle Corp, the world's largest producer of lithium for electric vehicle batteries, said it is experiencing a "weak" first quarter in China.

* TESLA: Tesla Inc plans to increase its production capacity for certain car parts at its $2 billion factory in China, according to a government document seen by Reuters, as it pushes to localise its supply chain in the world's biggest auto market.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian shares and Wall Street futures fell as growing scepticism about Washington's stimulus package to fight the coronavirus outbreak knocked the steam out of an earlier rally.

DATA/EVENTS

0930 UK GDP Est 3M/3M Jan

0930 UK GDP Estimate MM, YY Jan

0930 UK Manufacturing Output Jan

1230 US CPI MM, SA Feb

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 = 6.9592 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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