May 10, 2018 / 5:01 AM / in 7 months

METALS-London copper rises as inventories plunge; aluminium slips

 (Updates prices)
    BEIJING, May 10 (Reuters) - London copper prices rose for a
second session on Thursday on falling inventories and signs of
strong demand in top consumer China, while aluminium retreated
for the first time in four trading days.
    Copper stocks MCUSTX-TOTAL in London Metal
Exchange-registered warehouses dropped by another 7,950 tonnes
to 285,075 tonnes, exchange data showed on Thursday. They are
fallen by more than 100,000 tonnes since March 27. 
  
    China imported 442,000 tonnes of unwrought copper in April,
according to customs data released this week, the highest
monthly total so far in 2018.
    "Apart from the reduced supply of copper scrap, the strong
import appetite was also attributable to an increase in smelting
capacity and less than expected ... maintenance scheduled for
April," Argonaut Securities analyst Helen Lau wrote in a note.
    Aluminium was the biggest loser among base metals, slipping
by as much as 2.5 percent after a three-day rally also driven by
falling LME stocks.
            
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange
(LME) was up 0.8 percent at $6,866.5 a tonne, as of 0854
GMT. The most-traded July copper contract on the Shanghai
Futures Exchange ended 0.3 percent higher at 51,070
yuan  ($8,036.82) a tonne.
    * ALUMINIUM: London aluminium fell 1.6 percent to
$2,328 a tonne. The metal's "inability to crack the $2375-85
resistance and a lack of fresh headline-generated buying
arguably leaves us vulnerable to a drift lower again", broker
Marex Spectron wrote in a note. Recent price movements have been
driven by U.S. sanctions on Russian producer Rusal.
   
    * RUSAL: Japan's UACJ Corp said on Wednesday it was
suspending aluminium buying from Rusal because of U.S. economic
sanctions on the producer, but the company has found alternative
supplies from others.    
    * GRAPHITE: Australian-listed Syrah Resources is
targeting the market for electric vehicle batteries with its
Balama graphite mine in Mozambique, which started production in
November.  
    * For the top stories in metals and other news, click       
 or     
        
    MARKETS NEWS    
    *  Asian stocks rose on Thursday, with energy shares leading
the way as crude oil prices bolted higher after U.S. President
Donald Trump's decision to pull out of a nuclear deal with Iran.
    
    
    PRICES   
 BASE METALS PRICES                      0852 GMT
 Three month LME copper                    6861.5
 Most active ShFE copper                    51060
 Three month LME aluminium                 2327.5
 Most active ShFE aluminium                 14620
 Three month LME zinc                      3092.5
 Most active ShFE zinc                      23735
 Three month LME lead                        2295
 Most active ShFE lead                      18930
 Three month LME nickel                     13875
 Most active ShFE nickel                   103770
 Three month LME tin                        21160
 Most active ShFE tin                      146350
                                                 
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                           
 LME/SHFE COPPER             LMESHFCUc3    288.49
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM          LMESHFALc3  -2465.21
                                         
 LME/SHFE ZINC               LMESHFZNc3    430.13
 LME/SHFE LEAD               LMESHFPBc3    746.08
 LME/SHFE NICKEL             LMESHFNIc3   -713.67
                                         
 ($1 = 6.3545 Chinese yuan)

    
 (Reporting by Tom Daly, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and
Joseph Radford)
  
 
 
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