March 20, 2019 / 3:49 AM / in a month

METALS-Base metals slip in thin trade ahead of Fed meeting outcome

(Adds details, quotes, updates prices)

By Mai Nguyen

SINGAPORE, March 20 (Reuters) - Most industrial metals on the London Metal Exchange dipped on Wednesday, retreating from some sessions of gains as investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of the result of the U.S. Federal Reserve rate meeting later in the day.

“For the market to move to higher levels, it needs to see something new and different. That really comes down to some kind of evidence that the Chinese stimulus is coming through,” said Guy Wolf, Global Head of Market Analytics at Marex Spectron.

“Our view that it is going to come through and I think we are going to go higher. But it is in the very short term there needs to be something tangible,” Wolf said.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.2 percent to $6,446 a tonne by 0337 GMT, while the most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange eased 0.1 percent to 49,200 yuan ($7,328.63) a tonne.

* London aluminium retreated 0.4 percent from a three-month high reached in the previous session following a cyber attack on aluminium maker Norsk Hydro, while lead eased 0.1 percent.

* FED: The U.S. Federal Reserve will announce the result of its policy meeting later on Wednesday. It is widely expected to hold its benchmark rate unchanged, but investors will look for any clues on future rate moves.

* TRADE: U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin plan to travel to China next week for trade talks with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, a U.S. official said on Tuesday.

* KGHM STRIKE: Miner KGHM will extend negotiations with a union at its Chilean copper mine Sierra Gorda, averting a strike, a union representative said.

* CODELCO SMELTER: The reactivation of a smelter belonging to Chile’s state-owned Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer, will take more time than expected, the country’s mining minister said on Tuesday.

* RIO TINTO BAUXITE: Rio Tinto said has suspended its Weipa mining operations bauxite, the raw material used to make aluminium, at the northeastern tip of the country ahead of a cyclone.

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 ($1 = 6.7134 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by Mai Nguyen; editing by Richard Pullin and Rashmi Aich

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