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Copper eases as virus worries outweigh vaccine hopes

Prices of copper, often used as a gauge of global economic health, dipped on Tuesday as concerns about economic recovery due to a resurgence in COVID-19 cases outweighed optimism over positive trial results in the development of a vaccine.

The most-traded December copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed 0.9% lower at 51,590 yuan ($7,799.41) a tonne, while three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange dipped 0.3% to $6,898 a tonne by 0701 GMT, having risen as much as 0.6% earlier in the session on hopes of a potential vaccine.

Pfizer Inc said its experimental vaccine was more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19, a major victory in the war against a virus that has killed over a million people and battered the world’s economy.

“None of this unfortunately changes the near-term fact that the global economy faces a challenging winter,” said ING analysts in a note, adding that renewed lockdowns in Europe and risk of further U.S. restrictions would dampen global growth.

While optimism over vaccine development boosted risk appetite earlier in the session, uncertainties continued to loom over the impact of surging COVID-19 cases in the United States and Europe.

However, Brazil suspended a clinical trial for China’s Sinovac coronavirus vaccine, one of the world’s front-runners, citing a severe adverse event.

Meanwhile, official data on Tuesday showed that upstream demand for industrial goods remained tepid overall in China, the world’s biggest copper consumer.


* LME aluminium rose 0.5% to $1,902 a tonne, zinc dipped 0.2% to $2,638 a tonne while ShFE nickel climbed 1.1% to 117,940 yuan a tonne and ShFE zinc was down 0.6% to 20,115 yuan a tonne.

* COLUMN-China’s copper import boom leaves other metals cold: Andy Home.

* Chile’s copper industry could see some of its mines put out of business if an early stage bill to protect glaciers continues its march through Congress, Chilean mining trade group Sonami said.

* For the top stories in metals and other news, click or
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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