SINGAPORE — Most industrial metals fell on Monday as worries rose that a potential second wave of the novel coronavirus in China could lead to lower demand in the country.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) fell 1.6% to $5,692 a tonne by 0706 GMT, recovering slightly from heavier losses earlier in the session.
The most-traded July copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) ended down 0.9% at 46,280 yuan ($6,521.71) a tonne, having dropped as much as 1% in early trading hours.
After weeks with almost no new COVID-19 infections, Beijing has recorded dozens of new cases and is taking steps to halt the outbreak.
“I’m a bit worried, but not too much. The reaction speed and determination of the (Chinese) government are both much stronger (this time),” said a base metals trader.
STORY CONTINUES BELOW
* ALUMINIUM: China’s primary aluminum production edged higher in May from April on new smelting capacity and higher prices.
* CHINA: China’s industrial output rose in May but the gain was smaller than expected, while fixed asset investment in January-May fell less than in the first four months of 2020.
* COPPER: Copper trading on the CME and LME tumbled in May as funds and speculators reduced risk exposure, but volumes shot up in China as lockdowns were lifted.
* CHILEAN COPPER: Chilean copper miners’ unions called for a re-evaluation of the operational continuity plans of the country’s biggest miners during what they said was an “alarming” increase in coronavirus cases among workers.
* For the top stories in metals and other news, click or ($1 = 7.0963 yuan) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Uttaresh.V and Christopher Cushing)