April 20, 2018 / 5:31 AM / a year ago

METALS--London aluminium regains momentum amid Rusal sanctions fallout

 (Adds Shanghai closing prices, updates London prices)
    BEIJING, April 20 (Reuters) - London aluminium prices ticked
higher on Friday as a rally driven by fears of supply
disruptions caused by U.S. sanctions on Russia's United Company
Rusal, the world's second-biggest aluminium producer,
regained momentum.
    The metal had closed down 2.1 percent in the previous
session and was mostly trading lower again on Friday before
turning positive at the start of the European trading day.
    Conditions remain "nervous and choppy amid the overhanging
uncertainty", brokerage Sucden said in a note, adding that
short-term direction was "likely to be headline-driven".  
    Aluminium is on track for a weekly rise of 9.3 percent in
London and is up 24.6 percent so far this month. It climbed 11.9
percent last week in the wake of the Rusal sanctions announced
on April 6, its biggest weekly jump since 1988.
    * LME ALUMINIUM: Three-month aluminium on the London Metal
Exchange was up 0.5 percent at $2,496.50 a tonne by 0723
GMT, having earlier fallen by as much as 2.8 percent. On
Thursday it rose to $2,718, the most since May 5, 2011.
    * SHFE ALUMINIUM: The most-traded June aluminium contract on
the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed down 2.2 percent
at 14,955 yuan ($2,379.78) a tonne, but has still gained 3.7
percent this week, its biggest weekly jump since the week ended
Aug. 11, 2017.
    * NICKEL: LME nickel was down 1.6 percent,
recovering from a dip of 3.4 percent earlier in the session. On
Thursday it rose to as much as $16,690 a tonne, the most since
Dec. 12, 2014, on fears the sanctions could be broadened to
Russian nickel producer Nornickel before ending down
1.3 percent.
    * SHFE NICKEL: The most-traded July nickel contract
on the ShFE closed down 3.2 percent at 104,260 yuan a tonne,
after rising to its highest since June 2015 on Thursday. The
exchange hiked transaction fees for the July contract from
    * ALUMINIUM: Rusal is stockpiling large quantities of
aluminium at one of its plants in Siberia because U.S. sanctions
imposed this month have prevented it from selling the metal to
customers, five sources close to the company said.
    * BANKS: Lenders to Rusal are exploring how to get rid of
their exposure before a May deadline set by the United States,
as the fallout from fresh sanctions pulls Russian loan pricing
lower in Europe's secondary market.
    For the top stories in metals and other news, click       
    Asian shares slipped on Friday as a warning on smartphone
demand from the world's largest contract chipmaker slugged the
tech sector, while high oil prices stirred inflation fears and
undermined sovereign bonds.    
 BASE METALS PRICES                        0720 GMT
 Three month LME copper                        6974
 Most active ShFE copper                      51390
 Three month LME aluminium                     2497
 Most active ShFE                             14955
 Three month LME zinc                        3242.5
 Most active ShFE zinc                        24380
 Three month LME lead                          2353
 Most active ShFE lead                        18325
 Three month LME nickel                       14825
 Most active ShFE nickel                     104250
 Three month LME tin                          21500
 Most active ShFE tin                        146170
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                             
 LME/SHFE COPPER            LMESHFCUc3       322.64
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM         LMESHFALc3     -3260.49
 LME/SHFE ZINC              LMESHFZNc3       116.97
 LME/SHFE LEAD              LMESHFPBc3       286.33
 LME/SHFE NICKEL            LMESHFNIc3     -4975.31

($1 = 6.2842 Chinese yuan renminbi)

 (Reporting by Tom Daly; editing by Christian Schmollinger and
Joseph Radford)
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