Jan 26 (Reuters) – Copper held steady on Thursday as traders awaited U.S. economic data that could influence the Federal Reserve’s rate-hike path and offer clues on prospects of metals demand, while a week-long Lunar New Year holiday in top consumer China kept volumes thin.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange CMCU3 was up 0.2% at $9,329 a tonne, as of 0202 GMT.
The dollar =USD languished near an eight-month low against its peers, as a gloomy U.S. corporate earnings season stoked recession fears. FRX/
A weaker dollar makes the U.S. currency-priced commodity more attractive for those holding other currencies.
The U.S. Commerce Department is set to release its initial advance fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) estimates at 1330 GMT.
The U.S. central bank’s two-day policy meeting starts next week, and traders have priced in a 25-basis-point interest rate hike, a step down from the 50-bp and 75-bp increases seen last year. FEDWATCH
Meanwhile, global economic growth is forecast to barely clear 2% this year, according to a Reuters poll of economists, who said the greater risk was a further downgrade to their view.
On the supply side, copper production in Chile, the world’s largest producer of the red metal, will grow at a slower rate this decade than previously hoped, a government report seen by Reuters showed.
Social unrest in Peru, the world’s second-biggest copper producer, has also raised fears of disruption at mines.
In other metals, aluminium CMAL3 was flat at $2,658.50 a tonne, lead CMPB3 was up 0.8% at $2,177, zinc CMZN3 gained 0.4% to $3,462 and tin CMSN3 slipped 0.7% to $30,650.
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TOP/MTL or MET/L DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
1330 US Durable Goods Dec
1330 US GDP Advance Q4
1330 US Initial Jobless Clm Weekly
1500 US New Home Sales-Units Dec
(Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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