METALS-London copper edges up on stimulus hopes, but demand fears cap gains

SINGAPORE, March 27 (Reuters) – London copper prices rose slightly on Friday as investors eyed further stimulus by major countries to cushion the worldwide economic meltdown triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. However, gains were limited as widespread lockdowns to curb the outbreak threatened the demand outlook for the metal used in construction, power and manufacturing. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) edged up 0.1% to $4,808.50 a tonne by 0215 GMT. Leaders of the group of 20 major economies on Thursday said they would “do whatever it takes to overcome the pandemic,” pledging to inject over $5 trillion into the global economy to limit job and income losses. European Union lawmakers also approved emergency funds to stem the bloc’s economic slump. Profits earned by industrial firms in China, the world’s biggest consumer of copper, slid 38.3% year-on-year to 410.7 billion yuan ($58.09 billion) in the first two months, official data showed. FUNDAMENTALS * OTHER PRICES: LME aluminium rose 0.8% to $1,548 a tonne, lead advanced 1% to $1,702 a tonne. The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) fell 0.4% to 38,920 yuan a tonne, tracking losses in London overnight, while ShFE lead was up 1.5% to 13,785 yuan a tonne. * COPPER: South Africa’s main export terminals will close to mineral exports from midnight, when a nationwide 21-day lockdown begins, disrupting copper and cobalt supplies from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia. * GLENCORE: Glencore PLC halted a number of smaller mines due to government restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus but added its larger operations were not materially impacted. * For the top stories in metals and other news, click or MARKETS NEWS * Asian stocks rose as investors wagered policymakers will roll out additional stimulus measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic after U.S. unemployment filings surged to a record. DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 1230 U.S. Consumption, adjusted MM Feb 1400 U.S. U Mich consumer sentiment final March 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 = 7.0705 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

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