April 16, 2018 / 3:57 AM / 5 months ago

METALS-Shanghai aluminium hits 2-mth high after Rio force majeure

 (Adds China data preview, updates prices)
    BEIJING, April 16 (Reuters) - Shanghai aluminium prices hit
a two-month high on Monday after Rio Tinto said
it would declare force majeure on certain customer contracts in
light of U.S. sanctions on its partner, Russian aluminium giant
Rusal.
    Rusal holds a 20 percent stake in Rio's Queensland Alumina
refinery in Australia. Concerns over supply shortages focus not
only on aluminium but also on the substance used to make the
metal. 
    "China and Russia's aluminium industry are now both affected
by the sanctions," consultancy AZ China said in a note over the
weekend, referring to a 10 percent import tariff imposed by U.S.
President Donald Trump. 
    "Trump's policies are bound to have an impact on the global
aluminium landscape," it added.
    China, the world's largest aluminium producer, "may be able
to step in and supply metal to Rusal customers, possibly even
for political reasons", but this would be "only a temporary
alleviation on the impact", AZ China said. 
             
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * SHFE ALUMINIUM: The most-traded June aluminium contract on
the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed up 0.9 percent at
14,625 yuan ($2,327) a tonne. It earlier touched its highest
since Feb. 12 at 14,670 yuan.
    * LME ALUMINIUM: Three-month aluminium on the London Metal
Exchange had climbed 1.3 percent to $2,315.50 a tonne by
0709 GMT, after hitting a six-high year of $2,340 Friday and
posting its biggest weekly gain since the current contract was
launched.
    * RUSAL: Rio Tinto also said on Friday it was reviewing
Rusal's 20 percent stake in the Queensland Alumina
refinery, Rusal's supply and offtake arrangements, bauxite sales
to Rusal's refinery in Ireland and offtake contracts for
alumina.
    * RUSAL STOCK: Rusal shares fell more than 30 percent to a
record low in early trading in Hong Kong. The stock was last
trading at HK$1.44 ($0.1834), down from HK$4.64 on April 6
before U.S. sanctions were imposed. Rusal shares in Moscow fell
14 percent.
    * CHINA GDP: China likely carried most of its strong
economic momentum from last year into the first quarter of 2018,
with government crackdowns on financial risks and industrial
pollution dragging less on activity than earlier expected, a
Reuters poll showed.
    * COPPER: Three-month copper on the LME gained 0.1
percent to $6,838.50 a tonne, while Shanghai copper
also edging up 0.1 percent to end at 50,490 yuan a tonne.
    * OTHER METALS: LME zinc rose 0.5 percent to
$3,131.50 a tonne and lead climbed 0.7 percent to
$2,320.      
    * For the top stories in metals and other news, click       
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    MARKETS NEWS    
    * U.S. stock futures firmed and oil prices fell as investors
wagered the latest U.S.-led strike on Syria would not escalate
into a wider conflict, though Asian equities turned mixed as
selling in bank shares slugged Chinese indexes. The dollar
dipped.            
 BASE METALS PRICES                     0709 GMT
 Three month LME                          6838.5
 copper                            
 Most active ShFE                          50480
 copper                            
 Three month LME                          2315.5
 aluminium                         
 Most active ShFE                          14625
 aluminium                         
 Three month LME zinc                     3131.5
 Most active ShFE                          23690
 zinc                              
 Three month LME lead                       2320
 Most active ShFE                          18345
 lead                              
 Three month LME                           14080
 nickel                            
 Most active ShFE                         104340
 nickel                            
 Three month LME tin                       21000
 Most active ShFE                         144020
 tin                               
                                                
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                          
 LME/SHFE COPPER       LMESHFCUc3         354.21
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM    LMESHFALc3       -2262.94
                                   
 LME/SHFE ZINC         LMESHFZNc3         256.22
 LME/SHFE LEAD         LMESHFPBc3         272.85
 LME/SHFE NICKEL       LMESHFNIc3        -611.32
                                   
 ($1 = 6.2851 Chinese yuan)
($1 = 7.8499 Hong Kong dollars)

    
 (Reporting by Tom Daly; Additional reporting by Manolo Serapio
Jr in Manila; Editing by Richard Pullin and Joseph Radford)
  
 
 
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