* Supply concerns underpin copper, aluminium
* Aluminium at highest since May 2015
(Recasts with aluminium, adds closing prices)
By Zandi Shabalala
LONDON, March 29 Aluminium hit its highest level
in nearly two years on Wednesday, supported by optimism that
China would carry out plans to cut supply and by a rebound in
the oil price.
Three-month aluminium on the London Metal Exchange
(LME) climbed 0.8 percent to close at $1,960 a tonne, its
strongest since May 2015.
"As long as China follows through with this and takes its
environmental concerns seriously, there is potential for
aluminium to perform quite well," Nitesh Shah, a commodities
analyst at ETF Securities, said.
China said it would require aluminium smelters to cut
capacity by 30 percent over the winter heating months as part of
its anti-pollution measures.
* OIL PRICES: Oil prices rose nearly 2 percent on Wednesday
as U.S. crude inventories rose less than expected, supply
disruptions continued in Libya and the OPEC-led output cut by
producing countries looked likely to be extended.
* ALUMINIUM PREMIUM: Japan's aluminium premium for shipments
during the April to June quarter has been set at $128 per tonne,
up about a third from the quarter before due to higher overseas
prices, five sources directly involved in the pricing talks said
* CHINA MANUFACTURING: Activity in China's manufacturing
sector likely grew for an eighth straight month in March as a
surprise rebound in the property market added to a construction
boom, boosting sales of building materials from steel to cement,
a Reuters poll showed.
* DOLLAR: The dollar pulled away from 4-1/2-month lows
against a basket of currencies to a near one-week
* CHINA SMELTERS: China's top copper smelters have agreed to
an 11 percent cut in second-quarter treatment and refining fees,
after disruptions at the world's two biggest copper mines curbed
the global supply of raw material.
* LME NEWS: Regulatory delays to a proposal to slash initial
clearing margins by the LME have dealt another blow to the
exchange's ability to fend off competition from U.S. rival CME
Group, whose margins are sharply lower.
* NICKEL SPREADS: Cash LME nickel fell to a $67 discount
against the three month nickel contract, the steepest discount
since Jan 2015, reflecting a market in ample supply. CMNI0-3
* OTHER METALS: Copper ended up 0.6 percent to
$5,907 per tonne. Zinc was at a one-week high, up 1.2
percent to $2,858, lead gained 0.9 percent to $2,350 and
tin added 0.7 percent to $20,175.
BASE METALS ARBITRAGE
LME/SHFE COPPER LMESHFCUc3 226.21
LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM LMESHFALc3 -1764.94
LME/SHFE ZINC LMESHFZNc3 245.16
LME/SHFE LEAD LMESHFPBc3 1743.22
LME/SHFE NICKEL LMESHFNIc3 984
(Additional reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Susan
Fenton/Ruth Pitchford/Alexander Smith)