Copper prices in London fell on Monday as a stronger dollar made the greenback-priced metal more expensive, while investors were in wait-and-watch mode with a US Federal Reserve meeting taking the spotlight in a week full of central bank events.
The dollar held firm as markets were also concerned about troubled developer China Evergrande Group’s debt crisis, which some analysts feared would ripple beyond the Chinese property market.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell 1.7% to $9,154.50 a tonne by 0242 GMT.
Policymakers from major economies including Japan and the UK are due to meet this week, though the focus is on the Fed’s two-day meeting that will conclude on Wednesday, with markets expecting it will stick with broad plans to begin tapering this year.
Nickel eased 0.9% to $19,190 a tonne. Prices had neared seven-year highs on Friday as supply fears resurfaced after an Indonesian government official said the country was looking at taxes on exports of the stainless steel ingredient.
An export tariff might be unlikely at this stage as policies take time to form and implement, state-backed research house Antaike wrote in a note on Saturday, but it said nickel costs will eventually rise in the future.
Chinese markets are closed for a public holiday on Monday.
* LME aluminum fell 1.2% to $2,851.50 a tonne and zinc declined 1.4% to $3,044 a tonne.
* China’s aluminum imports in August fell 20.7% from the previous month, official data showed on Saturday, hitting their lowest since May.
* South Korean battery maker LG Energy Solution will pay 35 billion won for a 4.8% stake in China’s Greatpower Nickel and Cobalt Materials Co and has secured six years of nickel supply from the company, it said on Friday.
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* Asian shares slid and the dollar held firm ahead of a week packed with no less than a dozen central bank meetings, highlighted by the Federal Reserve which is likely to take another step toward tapering.
No major data/events expected on Monday
(Reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi; Editing by Devika Syamnath)