×

METALS--London metals edge up as dollar drops, looks ahead to Fed statement

(Adds comment, detail, updates prices) MELBOURNE, Jan 31 (Reuters) - London metals shrugged off slightly softer-than-expected Chinese manufacturing data on Tuesday to edge higher as the dollar eased, but conviction was lacking ahead of the outcome of the Federal Reserve's two-day meeting. Metals found a firmer footing after the dollar inched lower against a basket of major rivals on Wednesday, showing scant reaction so far to U.S. President Donald Trump's State of the Union address. Standard Chartered said however given a "more favorable macro environment - a weaker US and our expectations for global growth" it has raised some of its metals price forecasts, including for copper by $550 to $7,150 a tonne for this year.

FUNDAMENTALS COPPER: London Metal Exchange copper traded up by 0.6 percent at $7,090 a tonne by 0527 GMT in light volume following a 0.5 percent loss in the previous session when prices hit the lowest in nearly a week at $6,994 a tonne. Shanghai Futures Exchange copper slipped 0.5 percent to 52,980 yuan ($8,373) a tonne.

* ARBITRAGE: Even thought the import differential favors shipping copper into China at the minute, traders are cautious because they do not want to hold stock over Chinese New Year, a trader said. The Lunar New Year holiday starts on Feb. 15.

* CHINA ECONOMY: Growth in China's manufacturing sector slowed more than expected in January to an eight-month low in the face of a cooling property market and tighter pollution rules that have curtailed factory output. The official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) dipped to 51.3 in January, from 51.6 in December.

* CHINA SMOG: China is drawing up plans to extend curbs on smog over the 2018-2020 period, an environment ministry official said on Wednesday, after a five-year crackdown on pollution helped it meet its air quality targets last month.

* JAPAN ECONOMY: Japan's industrial output grew in December at the fastest pace in eight months, and up for a third straight month, in a sign that its humming factories have likely driven economic expansion for an eighth consecutive quarter.

* FOMC: The U.S. Federal Reserve Open Market Committee will issue a statement later on Wednesday with most analysts expecting the bank to hold rates steady but take a hawkish position on the economy.

* U.S. President Donald Trump urged lawmakers on Tuesday to work toward bipartisan compromises, but pushed a hard line on immigration, insisting on a border wall and other concessions from Democrats as part of any deal to protect the children of illegal immigrants.

MARKETS NEWS

* Asia stocks eased on Wednesday, pulling further back from record highs, as the recent rise in global bond yields weighed on equities.

* COMING UP: Federal Reserve releases statement after two-day policy meeting at 1900 GMT

* For the top stories in metals and other news, click or

0458 GMT

Three month LME copper 7090 Most active ShFE 53170

copper

Three month LME 2221

aluminum

Most active ShFE 14460

aluminum

Three month LME zinc 3525 Most active ShFE zinc 26805 Three month LME lead 2601.5 Most active ShFE lead 19440 Three month LME 13450

nickel

Most active ShFE 102560

nickel

Three month LME tin 21710 Most active ShFE tin 150130 LME/SHFE COPPER LMESHFCUc3 859.44 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM LMESHFALc3 -1858.97 LME/SHFE ZINC LMESHFZNc3 386.9 LME/SHFE LEAD LMESHFPBc3 -376.17 LME/SHFE NICKEL LMESHFNIc3 2083.63

($1 = 6.3272 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Richard Pullin and Christian Schmollinger)