* Zinc hits lowest since July 2016 as supply grows
* Copper gives up early gains to slip for third session
* Lead flipped into surplus in December
(Updates with official prices, adds aluminum and zinc news)
By Eric Onstad
LONDON, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Copper prices slipped on
Thursday, weakened by fears that the coronavirus outbreak in
China could spread globally and further dampen economic growth
and metals demand.
Scores of new coronavirus cases and a first death in South
Korea fanned fears of global pandemic as research suggested it
could be more contagious than previously thought.
Copper was given an early fillip from an interest rate cut
in top metals consumer China but later fell back into negative
territory for a third session running, also weighed down by a
"We've seen a lot of support coming from China's central
bank and government, but there's worry about (the virus)
spreading to other countries," said Ole Hansen, head of
commodity strategy at Saxo Bank in Copenhagen.
"Adding to this, we've seen the dollar move higher and a
strong dollar in a world so loaded up on debt is a very bad
cocktail for growth and demand."
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME)
fell 0.4% to $5,746 a tonne in official open-outcry
trading after rising as much as 0.8% to $5,814.
Copper has repeatedly failed to break through resistance
* DOLLAR: The dollar index hit its highest since May
2017 and is now up more than 3.5% this year. The Japanese yen,
meanwhile, slipped to its weakest in 10 months.
A stronger dollar makes commodities priced in the U.S.
currency more expensive to buyers using other currencies.
* ALUMINIUM OUTPUT: Global primary aluminum output rose to
5.451 million tonnes in January from a revised figure of 5.439
million tonnes in December, data showed.
LME aluminum, untraded in official rings, was bid
down 0.4% to $1,713 a tonne.
* LEAD/ZINC: The global zinc market's deficit rose to 23,100
tonnes in December, from a deficit of 200 tonnes in November,
while the lead market flipped to a surplus of 8,000 tonnes in
2019, up from a deficit of 73,000 tonnes a year earlier.
* ZINC TC: A Japanese zinc smelter has agreed zinc
concentrate treatment charges (TCs) of $300 a tonne for 2020
with a Western mining company, Chinese research house Antaike
said. That is up from a 2019 benchmark of about $245 a tonne.
* ZINC SPREAD: The discount of LME cash ZINC over the
three-month contract <CMZN0-3> rose to $16 a tonne, the highest
since September 2018 and compared with a premium of $23.75 a
month ago. This indicates healthy supplies of zinc in the LME
* PRICES: LME zinc fell 0.6% in official trading
to$2,115 a tonne, its lowest level since July 2016. Nickel
was bid down 0.4% to $12,770, lead was bid down
1.1% to $1,862 and tin rose 0.5% to trade at $16,600.
* For top stories in metals and other news, click
(Reporting by Eric Onstad
Editing by Barbara Lewis and David Goodman)
About Sprott Money
Specializing in the sale of bullion, bullion storage and precious metals registered investments, there’s a reason Sprott Money is called “The Most Trusted Name in Precious Metals”.
Since 2008, our customers have trusted us to provide guidance, education, and superior customer service as we help build their holdings in precious metals—no matter the size of the portfolio. Chairman, Eric Sprott, and President, Larisa Sprott, are proud to head up one of the most well-known and reputable precious metal firms in North America. Learn more about Sprott Money.