April 9, 2018 / 6:58 AM / a year ago

METALS-London aluminium climbs 2 pct on sanctions concerns

 (Updates prices)
    By Melanie Burton
    MELBOURNE, April 9 (Reuters) - London aluminium rallied more
than 2 percent on Monday and is likely to gain further on
concerns that sanctions by the United States on aluminium giant
Rusal could hamper trade in some 7 percent of the
world's annual supply of the metal. 
    The United States on Friday imposed sanctions against
Russian businessmen, companies and government officials,
striking at associates of President Vladimir Putin in one of
Washington's most aggressive moves to punish Moscow for a range
of activities.
    Shares of United Company Rusal Plc fell 40 percent
in Hong Kong on Monday after it was included in the new list.

    "Market concerns have that the sanction against Rusal and
its own technical default assessment may lead to supply shortage
in both aluminium and alumina," said Hong Kong broker Argonaut
in a report.
    Rusal produced some 3.7 million tonnes of aluminium in 2017,
about 7 percent of the world's total, Argonaut said. Its annual
alumina production of 11.5 million tonnes was also about 7
percent of the global total, while it produced about 4 percent
of the world's bauxite, the broker said.
    "It is expected that (the aluminium price rise) will
extend further," Argonaut said.
    * ALUMINIUM: London Metal Exchange aluminium rallied
2.6 percent to $2,096 a tonne by 0633 GMT, adding to a 1.6
percent gain on Friday and taking prices to the highest since
March 22. On the Shanghai Futures Exchange where markets
reopened after a four-day break, aluminium was up
nearly 1 percent. 
    * COPPER: LME copper climbed 0.8 percent to $6,820 a
tonne, erasing Friday's modest fall. The world's biggest annual
copper conference, CESCO in Chile, begins this week. 
    * TRADE: U.S. President Donald Trump predicted on Sunday
that China would take down its trade barriers, expressing
optimism despite escalating trade tensions between the world's
two largest economies that have roiled global markets.

    * GERMANY: German exports plunged unexpectedly in February,
posting their biggest monthly drop in 2-1/2 years and narrowing
the trade surplus, data showed on Monday, in a further sign that
growth in Europe's biggest economy could have reached its peak.

    * JAPAN COPPER: Japan's copper output in the first half of
the 2018/19 financial year to March 31 is forecast to rise 6
percent from the year before, Reuters calculations from plans
outlined by smelters showed.
    * INVESTORS: Copper speculators upped their net long
position in copper futures and options in the most recent week
data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed.

    * NICKEL: Shanghai nickel prices trimmed earlier losses,
down 1.5 percent while zinc prices fell 1 percent, also off
lows, tracking a drop in iron ore given ongoing Sino-U.S. trade
     * For the top stories in metals and other news, click      
                                    0532 GMT            
 Three month LME copper                             6814
 Most active ShFE copper                           50440
 Three month LME aluminium                          2097
 Most active ShFE aluminium                        14130
 Three month LME zinc                             3224.5
 Most active ShFE zinc                             24425
 Three month LME lead                               2389
 Most active ShFE lead                             18515
 Three month LME nickel                            13245
 Most active ShFE nickel                           98790
 Three month LME tin                               20975
 Most active ShFE tin                             144380
 LME/SHFE COPPER                  LMESHFCUc3         555
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM               LMESHFALc3    -1166.37
 LME/SHFE ZINC                    LMESHFZNc3      169.86
 LME/SHFE LEAD                    LMESHFPBc3       98.49
 LME/SHFE NICKEL                  LMESHFNIc3      146.57
 (Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Richard Pullin and
Gopakumar Warrier)
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