Shanghai copper, zinc inventories near 3-year high as virus hits demand

Copper and zinc inventories in warehouses tracked by the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) jumped to their highest level in nearly three years on Friday as the coronavirus outbreak hurt demand.

Copper stockpiles rose 4.1% to 310,760 tonnes this week, while zinc inventories were up 11.8% to 160,011 tonnes, each at their highest level since the week ended April 7, 2017, ShFE weekly data released on Friday showed.

The most traded ShFE zinc contract dropped as much as 5% on Friday, while benchmark three-month zinc on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was heading towards its biggest weekly decline since September 2015, down 6.3% on a weekly basis as of 0806 GMT.

Aluminum inventories in warehouses advanced 7.2% to 439,087 tonnes, highest since June 14, 2019, the data showed.

Countries on three continents reported their first cases of the coronavirus on Friday as the world prepared for a pandemic of the disease, pushing global share markets heading for their worst week since the 2008 financial crisis.

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