July 31, 2019 / 2:24 AM / 2 months ago

METALS-Copper steady ahead of Fed rate decision

SINGAPORE, July 31 (Reuters) - Copper prices in London were steady on Wednesday ahead of a rate decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve, but were on track to fall this month amid slowing growth from top consumer China.

The Fed is expected to lower interest rates today for the first time in over a decade, which should support commodities prices by boosting economic growth and weakening the U.S. dollar, making metals cheaper for buyers with other currencies.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) edged up 0.1% to $5,951.50 a tonne by 0157 GMT, but is still heading for a monthly fall as a year-long U.S.-China trade war weighed on global growth and metal demand.

FUNDAMENTALS

* TRADE TALKS: U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday warned China against waiting out his first term to finalise any trade deal, saying if he wins re-election in the November 2020 U.S. presidential contest, the outcome will be worse for China.

* CHINA ECONOMY: China will step up efforts to boost demand and support the economy, but will not use the property market as a form of short-term stimulus, a top decision-making body of the ruling Communist Party said on Tuesday.

* CHINA PMI: China’s factory activity shrank for the third straight month in July, an official survey showed on Wednesday, underlining the need for more stimulus to support an economy hit hard by the bruising trade war with the United States.

* FORECASTS: Analysts have marked down this year’s forecasts for copper and other industrial metals prices in recent months as top consumer China struggles to revive its economy, a Reuters poll showed.

* LEAD: About 18,000 tonnes of lead are expected to be off the market as Korea Zinc is carrying out maintenance at a lead refinery until late August, but the company had secured inventories ahead of the maintenance, a spokesman said.

* PRICES: LME aluminium rose 0.2%, nickel fell 0.6% and zinc dipped 0.5% while lead advanced 0.1% and tin increased 0.3%.

* SHANGHAI: The most active copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 0.8%, nickel rose 0.2%, zinc dipped 0.6%, lead fell 1% and tin decreased 0.4%.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian shares weakened in early trade, rattled by fresh trade war concerns following threats from President Donald Trump to Beijing, while increasing worries about a no-deal Brexit kept the pound under pressure.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

0600 UK Nationwide House Price MM YY July

0645 French CPI (EU Norm) Prelim YY July

0755 Germany Unemployment Chg, Rate SA July

0900 EU HICP Flash YY July

0900 EU HICP-X F&E Flash YY JUly

0900 EU GDP Flash Prelim YY QQ Q2

0900 EU Unemployment Rate June

1800 US U.S. Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market

Committee (FOMC) announces its decision on

interest rates followed by a statement

1830 US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell

holds news conference

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

ARBS (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; editing by Richard Pullin)

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