LONDON, Jan.6 (Reuters) – Industrial metal prices eased on Thursday after minutes from the US Federal Reserve’s December meeting indicated that interest rates could rise faster than expected, dragging down l appetite for risk.

US central bank policymakers said at their meeting last month that monetary tightening could be accelerated by a “very tight” labor market and rising inflation. Read more

“If central banks tighten, it doesn’t bode well for commodities, as liquidity is the lifeblood of riskier assets,” independent analyst Robin Bhar said.

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Despite the pressure from macroeconomic influences, metals such as copper have been supported by low inventories and the prospect of higher demand from the Green Revolution, he added.

The benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was down 1.5% to $ 9,555 per tonne in official activity.

OTHER ASSETS: The dollar strengthened, undermining demand for assets denominated in the currency. Elsewhere, the Fed’s minutes pushed stocks down while some government bond yields rose.

ELECTRICITY: High electricity costs in Europe have supported the prices of energy-intensive metals such as aluminum and zinc, where part of production has been reduced. Read more

ALUMINUM: Stocks of warranted aluminum in LME-registered warehouses stood at 550,700 tonnes, their lowest since December 2005, after losing around 160,000 tonnes in the past two sessions.

Low inventories and rising electricity prices supported LME aluminum, which weathered the broader downtrend in metals to hold steady at $ 2,922.5 per tonne.

BONUS: China’s Yangshan copper premium for refined copper imports, a good indicator of China’s import demand, has slipped to $ 78 per tonne, its lowest since August.

REAL ESTATE: Chinese developer Shimao Group (0813.HK) defaulted on a loan, the lender said in a letter seen by Reuters on Thursday, in the latest sign of distress in China’s real estate sector. Industry is a large consumer of copper. Read more

OTHER METALS: LME zinc fell 1% to $ 3,552 per tonne, lead fell 0.3% to $ 2,280, tin fell 0.2% to $ 39,200 and nickel lost 1.4% to $ 20,340.

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Reporting by Zandi Shabalala Editing by David Goodman and Susan Fenton

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.