* Profit-taking trims recent copper gains
* Philippines mine closures support nickel prices
* Coming up: FOMC interest rate decision
(Adds closing prices)
By Zandi Shabalala
LONDON, Sept 21 Copper retreated as
profit-taking knocked it from four-week highs before a key U.S.
Federal Reserve policy meeting later on Wednesday.
Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange ended
0.6 percent lower at $4,763 a tonne, paring small gains made in
the previous session.
The U.S. central bank is widely expected to hold interest
rates unchanged at 0.25 percent to 0.50 percent, but could hint
at a rate hike in December, which would strengthen the dollar
and pressure metals.
A higher U.S. currency makes dollar-denominated commodities
more expensive for non-U.S. firms, a relationship used by funds
to generate buy and sell signals for industrial metals.
"There is some short-term profit-taking, the bulls were
hopeful that after last Wednesday's gains momentum would shift
to the upside. However, we're ahead of the Fed so some
profit-taking is to be anticipated," said Kash Kamal, senior
research analyst at Sucden Financial.
He said benchmark copper held on to support around $4,750
this week but a higher dollar could put near-term pressure on
The Bank of Japan shifted key policies to target interest
rates instead of its money-printing programme, and recommitted
to reaching its elusive 2 percent inflation goal as quickly as
But as indicators improve from the world's top metals user,
China, it appears more likely that January marked a floor for
prices, Macquarie said in a report.
"The latest data points confirm that Chinese construction
activity remains in a positive trend, while we are in a nascent
global industrial production recovery," Macquarie said.
Nickel ended 0.2 percent higher at $10,335 a tonne
in rings after the Philippines said it would suspend more than
10 additional mines in an environmental crackdown on the sector.
It delayed for a second time the announcement of which
companies will be shut, to Sept. 26.
Tin slipped 0.9 percent to $19,300 a tonne and lead
fell 2.3 percent to $1,936 a tonne.
Aluminium inched up 0.4 percent to $1,584 a tonne,
while zinc edged 1.2 percent lower to $2,272 a tonne.
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
(Additional reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by William
Hardy and Adrian Croft)