METALS-London copper languishes near 1-1/2 mth low, Fed in focus
SINGAPORE, June 19 (Reuters) - London copper hovered near its lowest since early May on Wednesday as investors looked to a Federal Reserve meeting for clues on the outlook for a U.S. stimulus programme that has underpinned commodity prices.
* Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was almost flat at $7,005 a tonne by 0113 GMT, after falling on Tuesday to its lowest since May 3 at $6,965.
* The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange eased 1 percent to 50,720 yuan a tonne.
* All eyes are on the two-day Fed meeting which ends on Wednesday with a policy statement and a news conference by Chairman Ben Bernanke, who said in May that stimulus could be scaled back if the economy gains momentum.
* Copper came under additional pressure as a rise in China's home prices slowed for a second straight month in May from the previous month, in a sign that Beijing's attempts to bring stability to a frothy property market are having some effect.
* China is the world's top consumer of copper, which is used extensively in building.
* Indonesia's government may decide this week on whether to allow Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc to resume open-pit mining at the world's No.2 copper mine in Indonesia, a bearish factor for the amply supplied markets.
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* Japanese stocks started trade on Wednesday with a spring in their step thanks to a positive lead from Wall Street and a softer yen, but the rest of Asia was restrained as investors waited for clarity on the Fed's next policy step.
DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 1800 U.S. Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee announces decision on interest rates 1830 Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke holds a press conference in Washington 1800 U.S. Fed funds target rate Dec
2330 Japan Reuters Tankan DI Jun
Base metals prices at 0113 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct Move YTD pct chg LME Cu 7005.00 0.00 +0.00 -11.68 SHFE CU FUT OCT3 50720 -520 -1.01 -12.45 HG COPPER JUL3 3.16 0.00 +0.08 -13.55 LME Alum 1841.00 0.00 +0.00 -11.19 SHFE AL FUT OCT3 14530 -20 -0.14 -7.28 LME Zinc 1859.25 1.25 +0.07 -10.61 SHFE ZN FUT OCT3 14540 -25 -0.17 -9.44 LME Nickel 14115.00 -35.00 -0.25 -17.26 LME Lead 2102.25 12.25 +0.59 -9.77 LME Tin 20075.00 0.00 +0.00 -14.21 LME/Shanghai arb^ -692
Shanghai and COMEX contracts show most active months pct VAT, minus SHFE third month
(Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Joseph Radford)