Copper prices fell on Thursday as investors reduced their risk exposure ahead of a US Federal Reserve meeting that could unveil policy tightening plans in the world’s largest economy.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.8% to $9,277 a tonne by 0711 GMT, while the most-traded October copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed down 1% at 68,590 yuan ($10,581.61) a tonne.
Copper is often used as a gauge of global economic health and a US tapering could slow the country’s recovery from pandemic slumps and boost the dollar, which would make greenback-priced metals more expensive to holders of other currencies.
The Fed symposium, traditionally held at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is scheduled to take place virtually on Friday.
“(We have a) pretty shaky ground today as investors pared back risk again prior to Jackson Hole announcement. I would expect further risk off (actions) tomorrow as well,” said a Singapore-based metals trader.
“There might be pockets of value to pick intra-day but nothing one would want to hold going into the weekend.”
* LME aluminum fell 0.9% to $2,594 a tonne, zinc lost 1.2% to $2,991 a tonne and lead declined 2% to $2,272 a tonne.
* ShFE aluminum fell 0.9% to 20,415 yuan a tonne, tin rose 0.5% to 240,600 yuan a tonne, nickel dropped 1% to 142,200 yuan a tonne and lead shed 1.3% to 15,240 yuan a tonne.
* The workers’ union at BHP’s Cerro Colorado copper mine in Chile has called on its members to reject a final contract offer by the company, paving the way for a strike at the small deposit, the group’s leadership told Reuters.
* LME cash lead was still at a steep premium to the three-month contract
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($1 = 6.4820 yuan) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi; editing by Rashmi Aich and Jason Neely)