HANOI, March 31 (Reuters) - London copper prices on
Wednesday were set for their first monthly decline in a year, as
a firm U.S. dollar and a new wave of coronavirus infections in
Europe prompted traders to exercise caution.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was
trading 0.5% lower at $8,734 a tonne by 0300 GMT, down 3.8% on a
monthly basis for the first fall since March 2020.
The contract, however, is still set for its fourth straight
quarterly gain, as tight mine supply, demand hopes and strong
liquidity in the financial markets pushed prices to $9,617 a
tonne in February, only 6% shy of the record $10,190 level.
The most-traded May copper contract on the Shanghai Futures
Exchange fell 1.3% to 65,440 yuan a tonne, also on
track for a monthly drop.
* Canada's Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd said its
Oyu Tolgoi mining unit in Mongolia declared force majeure on
some Chinese copper concentrate contracts due to COVID-19
* China's manufacturing activity expanded at the quickest
pace in three months in March as factories cranked up
* LME nickel was set for the first quarterly decline since
March last year, following Tsingshan's announcement to produce a
large amount of nickel matte in Indonesia earlier this month.
* LME aluminium edged up 0.1% to $2,233 a tonne,
zinc dropped 0.7% to $2,791 a tonne while ShFE aluminium
declined 1.2% to 17,185 yuan a tonne, ShFE nickel
shed 2.4% to 120,380 yuan a tonne and ShFE zinc
decreased 1.3% to 21,590 yuan a tonne.
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* Asian stocks were set to open higher, as global financial
shares retraced some of their recent losses, driven in part by
higher bond yields, and as investors awaited a closely watched
Chinese factory activity survey.
0600 UK GDP QQ, YY Q4
0600 UK Nationwide house price MM, YY March
0755 Germany Unemployment Chg, Rate SA March
0900 EU HICP Flash YY March
(Reporting by Mai Nguyen, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)