SINGAPORE, June 24 (Reuters) - Copper prices rose on Wednesday as increasing cases of the novel coronavirus in South America added to rising supply risks of the red metal in its biggest producing region.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) rose 0.2% to $5,919 a tonne by 0211 GMT, while the most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) advanced 0.5% to 47,870 yuan ($6,777.00) a tonne.
Miner BHP Group Ltd announced stricter health protocols after virus cases at the world’s largest copper mine Escondida reached 150, while the Chilean government imposed lockdowns for the mines-heavy Antofagasta region from Tuesday.
Earlier this week, Chilean state miner Codelco announced stricter safety measures and suspended some construction projects after two workers died from COVID-19.
Better-than-expected European Purchasing Managers’ Indexes and improving U.S. housing and business activity data also boosted sentiment.
But gains were capped on fears or a second wave after cases surged in the United States and South America.
* OTHER PRICES: LME zinc rose 0.3% to $2,045.50 a tonne and lead advanced 0.5% to $1,755 a tonne. In Shanghai, aluminium fell 0.4% to 13,610 yuan a tonne and zinc dropped 1% to 16,750 yuan a tonne.
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* Asian stocks were expected to come under pressure, as a spike in new coronavirus infections weighed on sentiment, although U.S. assurances the China trade deal was intact and upbeat economic data provided some reasons for optimism.
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$1 = 7.0636 yuan Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Additional reporting by Tom Daly in Beijing; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri