February 21, 2018 / 7:02 AM / a month ago

METALS-Copper hits one-week low as dollar gains ahead of Fed minutes

(Updates prices)

MANILA, Feb 21 (Reuters) - London copper futures edged lower on Wednesday as the dollar touched a one-week high versus a basket of major currencies, with trading volumes in Asia staying lean as Chinese markets remained shut for the Lunar New Year break.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange was off 0.3 percent at $7,067.50 a tonne by 0653 GMT, after earlier hitting a one-week trough of $7,054.50.

* DOLLAR: The dollar rose against a basket of currencies , extending a recovery from last week’s three-year lows as traders trimmed bearish bets against the U.S. currency.

* FED MINUTES: The Federal Reserve will release minutes of its last policy meeting held in January later on Wednesday and some analysts say a hawkish tone could prod investors to price in a quicker pace of U.S. interest rate increases, and push the dollar higher.

* CHINA HOLIDAY: Chinese markets are set to reopen on Thursday after a week-long Spring Festival holiday.

* CHINA STEEL: China’s steel producers are eager to unleash their mills’ capacity when this winter’s output curbs end next month, hoping for a repeat of last year’s record profits based on high margins and less competition as outdated plants were closed.

* FORTESCUE: Australia’s Fortescue Metals Group reported a 44 percent drop in first-half profit, hit by weak prices for its lower quality iron ore, and paid a weaker dividend than expected, sending sent its shares down more than 4 percent.

* CHINA HANKING: China Hanking Holdings Ltd launched a takeover bid for Australia’s Primary Gold Ltd in line with a plan to build a long-term Australian gold business, valuing the target firm at A$37.5 million ($29.6 million).

* GFG ALLIANCE: British billionaire Sanjeev Gupta said his GFG Alliance has no plans to slow its rapid pace of acquisitions over the coming year, and could look to raise capital through debt or equity markets.

* TENDER: Southern Copper Corp won a tender to develop Peru’s estimated $2 billion Michiquillay copper mine in an auction that attracted just two bidders, the government’s Proinversion investment agency said.

* OTHER METALS: LME aluminium dropped 0.5 percent to $2,176 a tonne, zinc eased 0.2 percent to $3,544 and lead fell 0.7 percent to $2,579.50.


0800 France Markit manufacturing PMI flash Feb

0830 Germany Markit manufacturing PMI flash Feb

0900 Euro zone Markit manufacturing PMI flash Feb

1445 U.S. Markit manufacturing PMI flash Feb

1500 U.S. Existing home sales Jan

1900 Federal Reserve to release minutes from January meeting


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

Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; editing by Richard Pullin and Vyas Mohan

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