Copper higher, stainless steel jumps

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    HANOI – Copper prices edged up on Tuesday, as investors awaited cues to the prospects of a US stimulus package proposed by President Joe Biden that is worth $1.9 trillion.

    Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange edged up 0.1 percent to $7,973 a ton, while the most-traded March copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was almost flat at 58,810 yuan ($9,087.68) a ton.

    Biden is pushing for a sweeping pandemic relief proposal, but Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer warned a comprehensive deal may be four to six weeks away, as many US Republicans have balked at the price tag.

    Stainless steel futures on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose as much as 2.5 percent on Tuesday, gaining for a second straight session, fuelled by rising raw material prices and expectations of strong demand after the Chinese New Year holidays.

    “Recent Chinese nickel pig iron output continued to fall, nickel pig iron prices steadily rose…. stainless steel costs will remain at high levels,” an analyst with Huatai Futures wrote in a note, adding that the market is optimistic about consumption after the holidays.