Following a week of political instability, cabinet minister Andrew Robb has let slip a federal election may be just a few months away. The trade minister, speaking from Indonesia, missed new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull cabinet’s first meeting on Monday. Mr Robb, speaking to ABC radio on Tuesday about a Newspoll bounce for the coalition said: “We’ve got just a few months before the very important election.”

The Australian dollar is lower, losing ground after a US Federal Reserve official confirmed that a rate rise is still on the cards. The Fed last week held off on raising its interest rate but Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta president Dennis Lockhart overnight confirmed the decision was close and expects a hike before the end of the year.

After having dipped below 70c last week, the AUD has steadied and is currently trading at 71.28 which is within 0.6 of the running average of the month.


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**** Base Metals Close Mixed ****

COPPER prices have recovered from two-week lows on news that as Chinese imports of the metal rose in August, but worries about an over supplied market and a stronger US dollar have tempered gains.

A rise in China’s copper imports, up 12 per cent year-on-year at 262,691 tonnes in August, suggested industrial activity could pick up in the fourth quarter. But some analysts are not yet convinced. “The market has too much metal lying around, not enough is being consumed, and until that changes, it’s difficult to see why prices shouldn’t just be bumping along the bottom,” Societe Generale analyst Robin Bhar said.

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