July 17, 2020 / 5:21 AM / a month ago

METALS-London copper falls as virus fears, U.S.-China woes raise demand worries

(Updates prices)

By Mai Nguyen

SINGAPORE, July 17 (Reuters) - London copper fell on Friday, hit by worsening U.S.-China relations and rising coronavirus infections that could dampen global economic recovery and demand for metals.

The Trump administration is considering a ban on travel to the United States for all members of the Chinese Communist Party and their families, a person familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

The virus has infected more than 13.84 million people globally, with more than 588,000 deaths.

“Geopolitical and domestic political risks remain elevated,” Fitch Solutions said in a note on Friday.

“The uneven recovery... and risks of second-waves slowing down the pickup in industrial commodities poses demand side risks.”

The U.S. presidential election in November could also rattle investor sentiment, it added.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell $0.2% to $6,426.50 a tonne by 0704 GMT, still up 0.2% on a weekly basis and set for its ninth straight weekly gain. The contract hit its highest in nearly 25 months on Monday.

The most-traded August copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 0.3% to 51,430 yuan ($7,348.93) a tonne, tracking overnight gains in London.

However, Fitch Solutions remained bullish about the base metals sector, citing better-than-expected Chinese demand, supply disruption, stimulus measures and economic re-openings around the world.

FUNDAMENTALS

* COPPER OUTLOOK: Tight supply could help a further rally in copper prices in July-December, but downside risks are also rising.

* NICKEL: The global nickel market surplus widened to 9,000 tonnes in May from an overhang of 5,100 tonnes the previous month.

* OTHER METALS: LME aluminium eased 0.5% to $1,661.50 a tonne, zinc decreased 0.7% to $2,209.50 a tonne, while Shanghai lead fell 1.1% to 14,925 yuan a tonne and Shanghai nickel was down 0.9% to 106,320 yuan a tonne.

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

$1 = 6.9983 yuan Reporting by Mai Nguyen, Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Rashmi Aich

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