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Copper falls to 3-week low as dollar firms, virus fears…

BEIJING, Aug 3 – London copper slipped as much as 1.8% in early Asian trade on Monday, hitting a more than three-week low, as a slightly stronger dollar and fears over the spreading coronavirus weighed on prices even after more positive China manufacturing data.

After a rebound late last week, the dollar ticked higher, making dollar-denominated metals more expensive for holders of other currencies, but concerns about a slowing U.S. economic recovery from the pandemic capped gains.

FUNDAMENTALS

* COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was heading for a fourth straight session of fall, tumbling to $6,301 a tonne, its lowest since July 10. It was down 0.8% at $6,361.50, as of 0210 GMT.

* SHFE: The most-traded September copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell as much as 2.8% to 50,210 yuan ($7,199.60) a tonne, also its lowest since July 10.

* CHILE: Chile’s copper output fell in June for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic landed in the world’s top producer of the red metal, dropping 0.6% to 472,172 tonnes.

* CHINA: China’s July factory activity expanded at the fastest pace in nearly a decade as domestic demand continued to improve, although export orders and employment remained weak, a private survey showed.

* OTHER METALS: LME aluminium was flat but all other London metals were trading lower. The top performer in Shanghai was lead with a gain of 1.4%. It hit 15,880 yuan in Friday’s night session, its highest since Nov. 1.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian shares made a cautious start to the new month as U.S. lawmakers struggled to hammer out a new stimulus plan and a global surge of new coronavirus cases showed no sign of abating. ($1 = 6.9740 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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