METALS-Copper slips as focus shifts from Fed to fundamentals
* Fed could still taper stimulus in October-Bullard
* Tin hovers around 6-month high
* Coming up: euro zone consumer confidence at 1400 GMT
LONDON, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Copper edged lower on Friday after hitting its highest in almost a month as investors, following the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision to stick to its stimulus program, shifted focus back to fragile fundamentals.
Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange hit a session high $7,357 a tonne, its highest since Aug. 27., before slipping to trade at $7,329.50 in official rings, down slightly from a close of $7,335 on Thursday.
Copper prices have rallied as much as 4 percent after the Federal Reserve surprised markets on Wednesday by saying it would maintain bond purchases at their present pace, but the recovery lost steam on Friday.
"The recent gains were mostly macro-driven and with the Fed decision out of the way, at least for now, attention will turn back to copper fundamentals," VTB Capital analyst Andrey Kryuchenkov said.
"We are yet to see a narrowing of the copper contango, further draws in Shanghai warehouse inventories as well as rising domestic premiums and eventually falling LME inventories."
On Friday the copper forward curve was in a $25 contango , a discount for the cash price against the three-month price.
A narrowing of the contango or the curve flipping into a backwardation - where there is a premium for the cash price against the three-month price - is seen as a sign of improving demand.
"The market is broadly balanced this year, heading into a larger surplus next year but seasonal demand from Chinese fabricators should still help prices with a pick-up in activity before the year-end," Kryuchenkov added.
Weighing on metals, the dollar index rose after St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said on Friday that the Fed could still scale back its massive bond buying program at an October meeting, should data point to a stronger economy.
A stronger U.S. unit makes dollar-priced commodities costlier for holders of other currencies.
Benchmark tin traded at $23,300 in official rings from $23,290 at the close on Thursday when the metal hit a 6-month high of $23,350.
Prices were boosted by strict rule changes on shipments from top exporter Indonesia, which has prompted some electronics makers to seek to diversify supply.
The Rwandan subsidiary of British mining firm Pella Resources Ltd plans to invest $22 million in the east African country's small mining industry to extract tin ore, under a deal signed on Thursday.
Zinc, used to galvanise steel, traded at $1,897 from Thursday's close of $1,906 while nickel exchanged hands at $14,200 versus $14,400.
Lead traded at $2,101 from $2,126 and aluminium at $1,817 from $1,829.
Three month LME copper CMCU3
Most active ShFE copper SCFcv1
Three month LME aluminium CMAL3
Most active ShFE aluminium SAFcv1
Three month LME zinc CMZN3
Most active ShFE zinc SZNcv1
Three month LME lead CMPB3
Most active ShFE lead SPBcv1
Three month LME nickel CMNI3
Three month LME tin CMSN3