March 20, 2018 / 4:57 AM / a month ago

METALS--LME copper slips for fourth day ahead of Fed meeting

 (Adds analyst comment, updates prices)
    BEIJING, March 20 (Reuters) - London Metal Exchange (LME)
copper prices fell for a fourth session on Tuesday, tracking a
fall in equities as investors trimmed positions ahead of a U.S.
Federal Reserve meeting starting later in the day.
    The Fed is widely expected to raise interest rates for the
United States this week for the sixth time since December 2015
at the two-day policy meeting, the first under new Chairman
Jerome Powell.
    "The risk-off tone in global markets, alongside relatively
weak economic data, is likely to keep commodity prices under
pressure," ANZ wrote in a note.
    Higher U.S. rates may support a rising dollar, which would
limit demand for dollar-denominated commodities such as copper
from buyers paying with other currencies.
    Copper had fallen on Monday after top metals consumer
China's new home price growth slowed in February from the
previous month.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * LME COPPER: Three-month copper on the LME was down
0.3 percent to $6,833.50 a tonne by 0412 GMT, extending a 0.5
percent dip from the previous session.
    * SHFE COPPER: The most-traded May copper contract on the
Shanghai Futures Exchange was down for a third straight
day, falling by 0.7 percent to 51,240 yuan ($8,100.03) a tonne
by the mid-session interval. It earlier touched 51,120 yuan a
tonne, its lowest since March 9.
    * USD: The dollar index edged up 0.2 percent to
89.90. 
    * OTHER METALS: LME zinc and lead were down
by around 1 percent each, while nickel, used to make stainless
steel, slipped by 1.3 percent in Shanghai, mirroring a
dip in the ferrous complex, and was down 0.5 percent in London
. 
    * ALUMINIUM: Japanese trade minister Hiroshige Seko said on
Tuesday that there was a high possibility Japan would be
exempted from U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminium on a per-item
basis.
    * MONGOLIA: Switzerland's highest court has upheld the
seizure of $1.85 million in Swiss bank accounts, part of a
corruption probe linked to a former Mongolian finance minister
who helped clear the way for a disputed Rio Tinto mining
project, a ruling showed.
    * COBALT: Nervous Asian battery makers are turning to
early-stage cobalt projects in Australia and Canada to lock in
supplies of the critical battery ingredient ahead of expected
shortages as demand for electric vehicles revs up.
    * For the top stories in metals and other news, click       
 or     
        
    MARKETS NEWS    
    * Asian shares fell on Tuesday after investors took profits
in high-flying U.S. technology shares on fears of stiffer
regulation as Facebook came under fire following reports it
allowed improper access to user data.  
 
        
    PRICES
                                          0412 GMT
 Three month LME copper                     6833.5
 Most active ShFE copper                     51230
 Three month LME aluminium                  2088.5
 Most active ShFE aluminium                  13980
 Three month LME zinc                         3228
 Most active ShFE zinc                       24680
 Three month LME lead                       2340.5
 Most active ShFE lead                       18280
 Three month LME nickel                      13415
 Most active ShFE nickel                    101320
 Three month LME tin                         20735
 Most active ShFE tin                       143890
                                                  
                                                  
 LME/SHFE COPPER              LMESHFCUc3    937.71
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM           LMESHFALc3     -1347
                                          
 LME/SHFE ZINC                LMESHFZNc3    478.94
 LME/SHFE LEAD                LMESHFPBc3    285.89
 LME/SHFE NICKEL              LMESHFNIc3   1400.14
                                          
 ($1 = 6.3259 Chinese yuan renminbi)

    
 (Reporting by Tom Daly
Editing by Joseph Radford and Christian Schmollinger)
  
 
 
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