November 8, 2018 / 7:44 AM / 6 days ago

METALS-Copper, aluminium prices steady ahead of U.S. Fed statement

(Recasts, updates prices)

By Mai Nguyen

SINGAPORE, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Copper and aluminium prices were steady on Thursday after results of the U.S. midterm elections came in as expected and ahead of a policy statement from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange had eased 0.15 percent to $6,144 a tonne by 0737 GMT, while aluminium prices were nearly flat at $1,984.50 a tonne.

On the Shanghai Futures Exchange, copper closed down 0.26 percent at 49,370 yuan ($7,126.36) a tonne, with aluminium ending up 0.47 percent.

“After the U.S. election, the market is starting to focus on the FOMC meeting,” said Helen Lau at Argonaut Securities, referring to the U.S. central bank’s Federal Open Market Committee policy statement due on Thursday.

* CHINA ALUMINIUM: China’s unwrought aluminium and aluminium product exports came in at 482,000 tonnes last month, the General Administration of Customs said on Thursday, down 3.6 percent from a revised figure of 500,000 tonnes in September but still up 37.7 percent from October 2017.

* CHINA-U.S. TRADE: The U.S. Commerce Department said it would impose final duties on Chinese common alloy aluminium sheet products.

* BRAZIL ALUMINIUM: Top alumina refinery Alunorte in Brazil, run by Norsk Hydro, will remain on half capacity for environmental violations following a Wednesday federal court ruling. Senior analyst Jackie Wang of CRU Group said she had expected Alunorte to maintain 50 percent capacity until the first quarter of 2019 or even later.

* RUSSIA SANCTIONS: With Democrats securing control of the U.S. House of Representatives at the midterm elections, sanctions on Russia may be maintained “given Russia has been one of the focal points of the opposition’s attack on the current administration”, Dee Perera of Marex Spectron said in a note.

* CHINA COPPER: China’s imports of copper ores and concentrates fell 18.7 percent from last month to 1.57 million tonnes in October, but were up 14.5 percent from the same time last year.

* OTHER METALS: LME nickel fell 0.9 percent and zinc rose 0.8 percent to $2,475.5 after hitting a seven-week low on Wednesday. Shanghai nickel ended down 0.6 percent and zinc dipped 0.3 percent.

* MARKETS: Asian stocks scaled a one-month peak on Thursday, after investors drove a Wall Street rally on relief the U.S. midterm elections delivered no major political surprises, while the dollar bounced and pulled away from 2-1/2-week lows.

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 = 6.9278 Chinese yuan)

Reporting by Mai Nguyen Editing by Joseph Radford

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