LONDON, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Copper leapt above $7,000 a tonne
on Wednesday for the first time since June 2018, helped by hopes
for U.S. stimulus, strikes at mines in Chile, expectations of
healthy demand in China and a strengthening yuan.
Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME)
was up 1.4% at $6,998.50 a tonne at 1602 GMT after earlier
The metal used in power and construction has risen 60% from
a low in March as China, which consumes around half the world's
copper, rebounded from the coronavirus shock.
Adding to the bullish mood were expectations of bigger
stimulus if Joe Biden wins the U.S. presidency, and more Chinese
demand after a meeting of China's leaders next week to discuss a
five-year development plan, said ING analyst Wenyu Yao.
"In the short term, the market could remain well supported,"
STIMULUS: The White House and congressional Democrats kept
up negotiations on a fresh coronavirus relief bill despite
opposition from the Republican-controlled Senate.
CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to its lowest in seven weeks
while the yuan rose to its strongest since July 2018, taking its
gains against the dollar since May to 7% and making metals
cheaper for Chinese buyers.
MARKETS: Global stocks were mixed.
CHINA: China's fiscal revenues grew 4.7% in the third
quarter from a year earlier.
STOCKPILING: The prospect of China buying copper for its
stockpiles is filtering through the market.
COLUMN: China's imports are soaking up the world's excess
copper, writes Andy Home.
STRIKES: Chile's Candelaria copper mine suspended operations
from Tuesday after unions called for strikes. Workers at Codelco
took to the streets on Monday to reject layoffs.
ANTO: Chilean miner Antofagasta said full-year copper output
would be at the lower end of its original guidance of
LEAD/ZINC: The global lead and zinc markets will be
oversupplied in 2021, the International Lead and Zinc Study
POLL: LME cash copper is expected to average $6,800 a tonne
in 2021, aluminum $1,775 a tonne, nickel $15,157 a tonne and
zinc $2,350 a tonne, a Reuters poll found.
OTHER METALS: On Wednesday, LME aluminum was up
0.7% at $1,846.50 a tonne, zinc rose 1.6% to $2,569.50,
lead added 2.2% to $1,805 and tin was 0.3%
higher at $18,725.
Nickel bucked the trend, falling 0.9% to $15,885.
(Reporting by Peter Hobson; Additional reporting by Mai Nguyen;
Editing by Elaine Hardcastle and Jan Harvey)