July 23, 2019 / 4:35 AM / 4 months ago

METALS-LME base metals sea-sawed ahead of key policy meetings

 (Updates prices)
    By Mai Nguyen
    SINGAPORE, July 23 (Reuters) - London base metals traded
sideways on Tuesday as investors exercised caution ahead of
monetary policy meetings by major central banks this month.
    Most LME base metals were up during the morning Asian
trading hours as investors hoped for a rate cut by the U.S.
Federal Reserve, but prices retreated as European traders joined
the market.
    "There seems to be one side of the market that has taken a
.25 cut as read and possibly a .50 cut; however, there are those
who believe that the result might be no change," said Malcolm
Freeman of Kingdom Futures in a note.
    Lower U.S. rates would tend to weaken the U.S. dollar,
making base metals priced in the greenback cheaper for users of
other currencies.
    "It (policy easing) would support metal prices for a short
period of time. (But) afterwards, euphoria will come down and
the market will look at fundamentals," said Argonaut Securities'
analyst Helen Lau.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * PRICES: Benchmark copper         edged up 0.1% by 0700
GMT, aluminium         advanced 0.2% and zinc         rose 0.7%.
In Shanghai, copper          dropped 1.1%, aluminium         
declined 1.2% and lead          slipped 1%.
    * NICKEL: Three-month nickel on the London Metal Exchange
(LME)         was up 0.1% at $14,360 a tonne. However, Shanghai
nickel          dropped 2.3% to 112,610 yuan ($16,361.79) a
tonne.
    * CHINA DATA: Copper scrap imports in June were flat
compared with a month earlier at 170,000 tonnes, but first-half
imports were down 25.8% year-on-year. Alumina imports fell to
50,000 tonnes last month from 60,000 tonnes in May, data showed.
            
    * CHINA: China's industry ministry said "arduous efforts"
will be needed to achieve this year's industrial output growth
target, as trade protectionism weighs on exports and clouds the
outlook for the world's second-largest economy.             
    * COPPER DEFICIT: The global world refined copper market
showed a 96,000 tonnes deficit in April, compared with a 42,000
tonnes deficit in March, the International Copper Study Group
said in its latest monthly bulletin.             
    * ALUMINIUM: Global primary aluminium output fell to 5.246
million tonnes in June from revised 5.406 million tonnes in May,
data from the International Aluminium Institute showed on
Monday.
    * U.S. RARE EARTHS: U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday
told the Pentagon to find better ways to procure a rare earth
magnet used in speciality motors, warning that the nation's
defence would suffer without adequate stockpiles.             
    * LITHIUM: European Metals Holdings          could begin
operations at its Cinovec lithium project in the Czech Republic
by mid-2022, and is holding preliminary discussions with
potential customers, it said on Monday.             
    * For the top stories in metals and other news, click       
          or             
        
    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 = 6.8825 Chinese yuan renminbi)

 (Reporting by Mai Nguyen, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and
Richard Pullin)
  
 
 
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