March 15, 2017 / 1:40 AM / 4 months ago

METALS-London copper marks time ahead of Fed outcome

3 Min Read

MELBOURNE, March 15 (Reuters) - London copper marked time on Wednesday ahead of the outcome of a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting that is expected to dictate direction in the dollar, with dissipating concerns over mine supply dragging on prices for the metal.

Fundamentals

* Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange had edged up 0.1 percent to $5,828.50 a tonne by 0107 GMT, adding to small gains from the previous session. Prices last week fell to their lowest since Jan. 10 at $5,652 a tonne.

* Shanghai Futures Exchange copper was trading up 0.7 percent at 47,710 yuan ($6,901) a tonne.

* The Escondida copper mine in Chile plans to restart operations after striking workers again rejected an invitation by controlling owner BHP Billiton, to return to negotiations, an executive told reporters late Tuesday.

* A strike at Peru's top copper mine, Cerro Verde, may end next week if the labour ministry declares it illegal, the head of the union said on Tuesday after negotiations with owner Freeport-McMoRan Inc ended without an agreement on labour demands.

* China issued a raft of upbeat data on Tuesday showing the economy got off to a strong start to 2017, supported by strong bank lending, a government infrastructure spree and a much-needed resurgence in private investment.

* The total net long position of funds trading copper on the London Metal Exchange fell to 56,653 lots on Friday from a net long position of 70,580 lots the previous week, the LME's Commitments of Traders Report (COTR) showed on Tuesday.

* In other metals, LME tin slipped 1.2 percent, paring a 2.7-percent surge on Tuesday. Nearby prices CMSNT-0 jumped to a $7 premium for those rolling positions for a day, which is likely to trigger more deliveries into LME warehouses.

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Markets News

* Asian equities opened slightly lower, as investors stayed cautious awaiting the outcome of several central bank meetings later on Wednesday.

Data/Event Ahead (Gmt)

1000 Euro zone Employment Q4

1230 U.S. Consumer prices Feb

1230 U.S. New York Fed manufacturing Mar

1230 U.S. Retail sales Feb

1400 U.S. Business inventories Jan

1400 U.S. NAHB housing market index Mar

1800 Federal Open Market Committee releases statement

1830 Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen holds news briefing

Prices

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 = 6.9130 Chinese yuan renminbi Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Joseph Radford

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