fall@ (Updates prices, adds details)
SINGAPORE, March 13 (Reuters) - London zinc prices edged higher on Friday on hopes for a U.S. stimulus package to arrest the economic impact of the coronavirus, but were set for their fourth straight weekly decline as the pandemic heightened global growth worries.
Benchmark three-month zinc on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was down 0.7% for the week, even as it rose 1.7% to $1,971 by 0716 GMT on Friday.
The gains came along with a rebound in global markets on hopes the United States would pass a coronavirus economic aid package on Friday.
The contract has lost about 19% since Jan. 20, when the coronavirus started rattling markets, making it the worst-hit metal on the LME.
"Zinc's price floor would be about $1,800 a tonne. The coronavirus is only a trigger that accelerates the speed of zinc's decline to the level it's supposed to be," said a metals trader, pointing to poor demand and rising inventories.
The most-traded zinc contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) declined as much as 2.2% to 15,430 yuan ($2,207.03) a tonne. It closed down 0.4% at 15,710 yuan a tonne.
However, with the containment of the outbreak in China, the world's biggest metals consumer, investors are watching how fast demand can improve as businesses there slowly return to work.
"If China's demand starts to pick up soon, copper will be the first (to react)," the trader said.
* PRICES: LME copper rose 0.4% to $5,463 a tonne, nickel climbed 3.1% to $12,200 yuan a tonne, aluminium edged up 0.9% to $1,671 a tonne, while tin dropped 1.1% to $15,930 yuan a tonne.
* SHANGHAI PRICES: ShFE copper rose 0.4% to 43,350 yuan a tonne, aluminium advanced 0.4% to 12,800 yuan a tonne while nickel declined 1.2% to 98,820 yuan a tonne and tin tumbled 3% to 129,800 yuan a tonne.
* COPPER: Copper miners in top producer Chile are implementing measures to contain an eventual spread of the virus, while global copper smelting activities declined in February.
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Three month LME copper
Most active ShFE copper
Three month LME aluminium
Most active ShFE aluminium
Three month LME zinc
Most active ShFE zinc
Three month LME lead
Most active ShFE lead
Three month LME nickel
Most active ShFE nickel
Three month LME tin
Most active ShFE tin
($1 = 6.9913 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Aditya Soni and Subhranshu Sahu)