London copper slips 3rd day as Fed rate hike looms

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MANILA, Sept 26 – London copper dropped for a third session in a row on Wednesday ahead of a widely expected U.S. interest rate hike and persistent worries over an escalating U.S.-China trade war.

Fed funds rates futures implied traders are fully pricing in a rate hike on Wednesday, and another 85 percent chance the Fed would raise rates again in December. The Federal Reserve has already raised rates twice this year.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 0.5 percent at $6,286 a tonne by 0134 GMT. On the Shanghai Futures Exchange, the most-traded November copper gained 0.7 percent to 50,550 yuan ($7,365) a tonne.

* TRADE DISPUTE: U.S. President Donald Trump’s top trade official said that changing China’s economic policies to become more market-oriented “is not going to be easy” even with tariffs now in place on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods.

* CHINA STEEL: Top Chinese steelmaker China Baowu Steel Group is in talks to take over rival Magang Group, three sources familiar with the discussions said, a deal that would help entrench the nation’s position as a serious competitor in global steel markets. The mega-marriage would sharply narrow Baowu’s gap with top-ranked international producer ArcelorMittal .

* CHINA COPPER: China’s top copper smelters have set their floor treatment and refining charges for the fourth quarter at $90 per tonne and 9 cents per pound, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

* ASIA GROWTH: Developing Asia could grow more slowly than previously thought next year as the U.S.-China trade war inflicts collateral damage on the region’s export-reliant economies, the Asian Development Bank said.

DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT)

0645 France Consumer confidence Sep

1400 U.S. New home sales Aug

1800 U.S. Federal Reserve releases policy statement

1830 Fed Chairman Jerome Powell holds 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 = 6.8632 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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