May 5, 2020 / 7:35 AM / 3 months ago

METALS-Base metals rise as some countries ease coronavirus restrictions

(Updates prices; adds details, quotes)

By Mai Nguyen

SINGAPORE, May 5 (Reuters) - Industrial metals prices mostly rose on Tuesday as more countries and regions looked to ease coronavirus lockdowns, driving hopes for a pick up in economic activity.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday outlined a phased reopening of business activity in the U.S. state hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, while the state of California may allow some retail business to resume as early as this week.

Italy, Spain, Portugal, Belgium and India were also cautiously lifting some restrictions.

"The longer we are closed down, the more economic pain," said Anna Stablum, a commodity trader at Marex Spectron. "Central banks pouring money over these markets and strong demand in China seem to still underpin prices at these levels."

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) rose 0.5% to $5,149 a tonne by 0717 GMT, while aluminium was flat at $1,483 a tonne and nickel was almost unchanged at $11,815 a tonne.

LME zinc advanced 0.6% to $1,910.50 a tonne, lead rose 0.7% to $1,642 a tonne and tin was up 0.4% to $15,150 a tonne.

FUNDAMENTALS

* ARUBIS: Europe's biggest copper smelter Aurubis won European Union antitrust approval on Monday for its planned 380 million euro ($414.66 million) acquisition of Belgian-Spanish metal recycling group Metallo, the European Commission said.

* AUTOS: Norsk Hydro will close its loss-making Hydro Precision Tubing auto parts plant in the German city of Remscheid by the end of the year, putting 129 jobs at stake, the Norwegian metals maker said in a statement on Monday.

* For the top stories in metals and other news, click or

Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Aditya Soni, Kirsten Donovan

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