US markets were a lot quieter overnight after Wednesday’s rally, with the Dow lifting only 11 points and the S&P down 0.25%; The US Federal Reserve left the federal funds rate at 2.00% – 2.25% as expected, and is still on track to lift rates next month. The Fed reiterated, “Household spending has continued to grow strongly, while growth of business fixed investment has moderated from its rapid pace earlier in the year”; Oil continued to fall for its ninth consecutive day (Brent down 1.5%), as we enter a bear market having dropped nearly 20% from its peak five weeks ago. Supply concerns continue to ease as the US is named the largest global oil producer with output at record highs of 11.6 million barrels per day realised over the past week; Base metals mostly increased on the LME overnight with lead rising as much as 4.2% and zinc up 3.4%; The world’s largest lithium producer, Albemarle has opted to halt plans to expand its lithium carbonate production in Chile, after announcing yesterday it would focus on its Western Australian lithium hydroxide operations. The department of mines highlighted this view for LiOH, announcing that in FY18, WA produced $1.5bn worth of revenue from spodumene concentrate.
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