September 18, 2019 / 2:25 AM / a month ago

METALS-Most base metals rangebound ahead of Fed decision

SINGAPORE, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Most industrial metals traded in tight ranges on Wednesday, as investors waited for clues on the U.S. Federal Reserve’s future monetary policy.

The Fed is widely expected to announce a rate cut when it concludes its two-day policy meeting later on Wednesday. This would be its second such cut after lowering rates in July for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) edged up 0.1% to $5,828 a tonne by 0144 GMT, while the most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) eased 0.2% to 47,270 yuan ($6,667.51) a tonne.

LME aluminium was almost unchanged, nickel dipped 0.2%, zinc fell 0.3%, and lead rose 0.2%. ShFE aluminium edged up 0.1%, nickel declined 0.8%, zinc eased 0.3% and tin fell 0.5%.

FUNDAMENTALS

* LEAD: ShFE lead fell as much as 1.9% to a one-month low on rising supply outlook after Belgium’s Nyrstar said it had temporarily reopened an old lead-processing plant in Australia.

* TRADE DEAL: U.S. President Donald Trump said his administration could seal a deal on trade with China before the U.S. presidential election, or an agreement could be reached the day after U.S. voters go to the polls.

* CHILE LITHIUM: Chile is making a renewed push for battery technology investment in return for access to its lithium deposits, piquing interest from China, Japan and Europe as global firms look to secure supply for electric vehicles.

* LITHIUM: Strong demand from the electric vehicle sector alongside supply cuts should help Australian lithium miners recover towards the middle of next year, earlier than expected, a Benchmark Minerals Intelligence top executive said.

* US EV: The United States is losing the race to extract and refine minerals used to make electric vehicles and should do more to spur domestic production, a bipartisan group of senators said.

* For the top stories in metals and other news, click or

MARKETS NEWS

* Oil prices cooled as Saudi Arabia said the kingdom had fully restored its oil supply following attacks on its crude facilities although caution ahead of an expected U.S. interest rate cut kept wider financial markets in tight ranges.

DATA/EVENTS AHEAD (GMT)

0830 UK CPI YY Aug

0900 EU HICP Final MM Aug

0900 EU HICP Final YY Aug

1230 US Housing Starts Number Aug

1300 Russia Unemployment Rate Aug

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

Committee announces its decision on

interest rates followed by a statement

1830 US U.S. Federal Reserve chairperson

holds a 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 ($1 = 7.0896 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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