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Copper fluctuates ahead of Fed, China slowdown fears weigh

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Investing.com -

Investing.com - Copper futures fluctuated between small gains and losses in cautious trade on Tuesday, as investors awaited the start of a highly anticipated Federal Reserve meeting later in the day.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, copper for December delivery tacked on 0.4 cents, or 0.13%, to trade at $3.090 a pound during European morning hours.

Prices traded in a narrow range between $3.083 and $3.107 a pound. Futures were likely to find support at $3.062, the low from September 11 and resistance at $3.117, the high from September 11.

A day earlier, copper futures lost 2.1 cents, or 0.68%, to settle at $3.085, after weekend data showed China's factory output grew at the slowest pace in nearly six years in August.

The disappointing data raised fears the world's second largest economy was losing momentum and added to speculation policymakers in Beijing will have to introduce fresh stimulus to meet the government's 7.5% growth target.

China is the world's largest copper consumer, accounting for nearly 40% of global demand.

Investors shifted their focus to the Fed's upcoming policy meeting, due to begin later Tuesday, amid speculation the U.S. central bank could adopt more hawkish language.

The dollar remained well bid as the central bank was expected to cut its asset purchase program by another $10 billion, which would keep it on track for winding up the program in October, and to start raising interest rates sometime in mid-2015.

Fed officials will release updated economic and interest rate projections at the conclusion of the two-day meeting, extending their forecast horizon through 2017.

Market participants will also pay close attention to a press conference with Fed Chair Janet Yellen on Wednesday for further clues on the timing of the first U.S. rate hike since 2006.

Elsewhere on the Comex, gold for December delivery added $2.30, or 0.19%, to trade at $1,237.50 a troy ounce, while silver for December delivery picked up 9.8 cents, or 0.53%, to trade at $18.71 an ounce.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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