October 4, 2018 / 1:57 AM / 2 months ago

METALS-Aluminium holds near 3-1/2 mth peak on alumina shortage woes

MANILA, Oct 4 (Reuters) - London aluminium futures rose for a fifth session on Thursday to trade near their strongest level in more than three months, buoyed by worries the closure of the world's largest alumina refinery in Brazil will lead to a shortage of the raw material.

Norsk Hydro said on Wednesday that it would halt production indefinitely and lay off 4,700 people at Brazil's Alunorte refinery, which has been operating at half capacity since March due to an environmental dispute.

Three-month aluminium on the London Metal Exchange was up 1.5 percent at $2,240 a tonne by 0139 GMT. The metal surged 4.2 percent overnight - its largest single-day gain since April - and peaked at $2,245, the highest since June 15.

* ALUNORTE: Norsk Hydro's decision also triggered a shutdown of its Paragominas bauxite mine, which supplies Alunorte, and will lead to the imminent closure of the nearby Albras aluminium smelter.

* OTHER METALS: Copper climbed 0.6 percent to $6,304.50 a tonne and zinc added 0.4 percent to $2,661. China's markets remain shut for the week-long National Day holiday.

* CHINA COPPER DEMAND: China's overseas expansion will spread over land that is home to more than half the world's population, potentially boosting copper use by 1.6 million tonnes, or roughly 7 percent of annual demand, said major miner BHP .

* NICKEL DEMAND: Global demand for nickel is expected to increase to 2.42 million tonnes in 2019 versus a projection of 2.35 million tonnes in 2018, the International Nickel Study Group said.

* DOLLAR: The dollar reached an 11-month high against the yen and stood tall against other peers, boosted by upbeat U.S. economic data and hawkish comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT)

0600 International Monetary Fund Managing Director

Christine Lagarde holds news conference in Tokyo

1230 U.S. Weekly jobless claims

1400 U.S. Factory orders Aug

PRICES

Three month LME copper

Most active ShFE copper

Three month LME aluminium

Most active ShFE aluminium

Three month LME zinc

Most active ShFE zinc

Three month LME lead

Most active ShFE lead

Three month LME nickel

Most active ShFE nickel

Three month LME tin

Most active ShFE tin

Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr. Editing by Joseph Radford

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