Volatility gripped US equity markets overnight as investor concerns mounted regarding the threat of a US government shutdown. The Dow Jones fell 2% overnight to 22,860 and the S&P 500 slipped 1.6% to 2,467; President Donald Trump will refuse to sign the Senate’s version of a stopgap spending bill that would avert a partial government shutdown as it excludes funds which Trump has demanded for US border security; U.S.-China trade tensions have weighed on copper miners in 2018 as fears of a global economic slowdown has overshadowed their fundamentals. Copper fell 0.2% overnight on the LME to US$ 5,978/t; Brent Crude oil fell below US$ 55/bbl overnight for the first time in over a year after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates and President Donald Trump neglected a bill to prevent a partial government shut down. Brent crude oil fell 4.3% to US$ 54.77; Argentina’s government is budgeting for US$ 500m/yr. expenditure on lithium exploration as they push for a position to supply the electric vehicle market.