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Copper prices dip ahead of Fed’s interest rate decision

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BEIJING — Prices of copper, often used as an economic parameter, drifted lower on Wednesday as investors anticipated another aggressive interest rate hike from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange dipped 0.4% to $7,730 a tonne by 0141 GMT, while the most-traded October copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was down 0.1% at 62,400 yuan ($8,872.46) a tonne.

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The Fed started a two-day meeting on Tuesday, with rate futures traders pricing in an 83% chance of a 75 basis-point hike and a 17% probability of a 100 bps raise. FEDWATCH

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The U.S. dollar strengthened to a near two-decade high on Tuesday, making it more expensive for holders of other currencies to buy greenback-priced commodities.

Some metals, however, were supported by expectations of strengthening demand in China thanks to strong operation rates among end-user manufacturers in September and October.

China’s commercial hub of Shanghai on Tuesday announced eight infrastructure projects with a total investment of 1.8 trillion yuan, to revive a COVID-impacted economy.

ShFE nickel gained 0.8% to 195,980 yuan a tonne, tin rose 2% to 181,260 yuan a tonne, while aluminum lost 1.2% to 18,490 yuan a tonne, following data on Tuesday that showed global primary aluminum output rose 3.5% in August to 5.89 million tonnes.

LME aluminum slid 0.2% to $2,241 a tonne, lead was down 0.2% to $1,877 a tonne, zinc declined 0.2% to $3,121.50 a tonne.

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($1 = 7.0330 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Siyi Liu and Dominique Patton; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

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