By Mai Nguyen
SINGAPORE, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Industrial metals on the London Metal Exchange (LME) slipped on Thursday, after the U.S. Federal Reserve signalled that it was not on a preset path to more monetary policy easing and expectations of softer demand growth in top consumer China.
Interest rate cuts by the Fed could lead to a weaker U.S. currency, which makes dollar-denominated metals cheaper for users of other currencies.
Minutes of Fed’s last month meeting showed policymakers were deeply divided over whether to cut interest rates, but were united in wanting to signal they were not on a preset path to more rates cuts.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.8% to $5,684.50 a tonne by 0704 GMT, aluminium dipped 0.4%, nickel dropped 1.2%, zinc decreased 1.3%, lead was 0.6% lower while tin eased 0.1%.
“Copper and aluminium demand growth (in China) will only post a modest recovery from current levels, as the autos and consumer sectors ... will only improve marginally in 2020 compared to the infrastructure sector,” Fitch said in a report.
* CODELCO: Chile’s Codelco, the world’s top copper producer, said on Wednesday it had shut down its Ventanas smelter along Chile’s central coast for maintenance until Sept. 3, but it would not impact production.
* NICKEL: The global nickel market deficit narrowed to 45,100 tonnes in the first six months of this year, compared to a deficit of 85,200 tonnes in the same period of 2018, data from the International Nickel Study Group showed.
* EV: Chinese electric car maker BYD Co Ltd’s, first-half profit soared after it sold 145,653 so-called new energy vehicles between January and June, up 94.5% from a year earlier.
* ZINC: The global zinc market swung into a 10,900 tonne surplus in June from a revised deficit of 38,200 tonnes in May, data from the International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG) showed.
* LEAD: The global lead market recorded a widening deficit of 65,000 tonnes in the first half of 2019, compared to a deficit of 37,000 tonnes during the same period last year, ILZSG data showed.
* LYNAS: Rare earths miner Lynas Corp Ltd, the only major proven producer of rare earths outside China, confirmed the receipt of a renewed operating licence from Malaysia for its processing plant there.
* SOUTH32: Australian miner South32 Ltd reported a bigger-than-expected 25% drop in annual profit as the trade war between China and the United States hurt aluminium prices.
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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 Sriraj Kalluvila)