Metals rally on China support hopes; rising virus death toll caps gains
Feb 5 (Reuters) - Base metals prices rose on Wednesday on hopes of more stimulus measures to lessen the economic damage from the coronavirus outbreak, but gains were limited as the death toll from the virus kept climbing. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 1.2% to $5,687.50 a tonne by 0343 GMT, nickel jumped 2.8% to $13,185 a tonne and zinc rallied 1.7% to $2,203 a tonne.
Shanghai Futures Exchange's most traded copper contract rose 1% to 45,530 yuan a tonne, nickel jumped 2.1% to 105,800 yuan a tonne and other base metals also rose. "Beijing signalled support measures to cushion economic growth, providing some comfort to the market. Consumers may jump in to lock in costs at these lower levels, but the market will still likely face downward pressure," ING said in a report, noting signs of impact on global supply chains.
China's central bank said on Wednesday it could fully meet demand for liquidity, after injecting a total of 1.7 trillion yuan of funds in the previous two sessions.
* DEATH TOLL: The death toll in China due to the virus outbreak crossed 490, while there were 24,324 people infected, latest data showed.
* VIRUS IMPACT: Companies around the world have warned that the outbreak in China could disrupt supply chains or hurt profits.
* CHINA COPPER: Factory closures due to coronavirus will likely see copper smelters cut output, industry sources said.
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(Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)
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