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Copper Snaps Longest Advance in Three Years Before Fed Meeting

Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Copper declined, snapping the longest winning streak in three years, as signs of improving U.S. economic growth boosted concern that the Federal Reserve may announce steps to start trimming stimulus at the end of the meeting tomorrow.

About 34 percent of economists surveyed by Bloomberg on Dec. 6 expected the Fed to begin cutting its $85 billion of monthly bond purchases at the meeting. Industrial production in the U.S. climbed last month, a report showed yesterday. The U.S. economy expanded at a 3.6 percent annual rate in the third quarter, more than initially estimated, the Commerce Department said Dec. 5.

“We suspect that directional money has started to gravitate to the sidelines ahead of the Fed policy statement,” Edward Meir, an analyst at INTL FCStone in New York, wrote in a report today.

Copper futures for March delivery slipped 0.2 percent to settle at $3.3215 a pound at 1:08 p.m. on Comex in New York. Prices climbed in the seven previous sessions, the longest rally since December 2010. Trading volume was 36 percent lower than the average for the past 100 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months fell 0.2 percent to $7,278 a metric ton ($3.30 a pound).

Nickel for delivery in three months on the LME rose 0.2 percent to $14,060 a ton on the LME. Indonesia is working on regulations that will lay out details of how a planned ban on mineral-ore shipments will be implemented next month, with the cabinet scheduled to review the issue later this week.

Also in London, lead climbed 0.3 percent to $2,173 a ton. Aluminum gained 0.3 percent to $1,798 a ton, while zinc advanced 0.4 percent to $2,000 a ton. Tin was unchanged at $22,775 a ton.

To contact the reporter on this story: Luzi Ann Javier in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Millie Munshi at

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