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Aluminum METALS-LME is pegged for a weekly decline of 9%; nickel still suspended


Band Eileen Soreng

March 11 (Reuters)Aluminum in London was on course for a weekly decline of 9% on Friday as investors turned cautious after nickel trading halted following an unprecedented price spike amid uncertainty over nickel supply. metal from the main Russian producer.

Three months of aluminum on the London Metal Exchange CMAL3 was up 1.9% at $3,491 a tonne, by 0605 GMT.

The metal hit an all-time high of $4,073.50 earlier this week on concerns over the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which accounts for around 6% of the world’s light metal supply .

The most traded April aluminum contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange SAFcv1 gained 2.3% to 21,980 yuan ($3,475.48) a ton.

While metal prices appear to have stabilized somewhat, they may rise further in the coming days if the conflict escalates or new sanctions and trade restrictions are imposed on Russia, Fitch Solutions said in a rating.

Meanwhile, the LME said it will not restart trading in nickel contracts on Friday as it had planned because restart criteria have not been met. The stock market had to intervene on Tuesday to calm the nickel market after prices soared within hours to record highs of more than $100,000 a ton.

US President Joe Biden will call for an end to normal trade relations with Russia on Friday and pave the way for higher tariffs on Russian imports, a source said.

Britain on Thursday added Russian billionaires Oleg Deripaska and Roman Abramovich, who both have stakes in metal producers, to its sanctions list, while global miner Rio Tinto RIO.L, RIO.AX also said he was cutting all ties with Russian companies.

“The price is rising due to supply issues rather than growing demand, which may mean the price won’t be able to sustain higher levels,” said Kshitij Purohit, chief product officer at CapitalVia Global Research. , based in Mumbai.

Nickel-ShFE SNIcv1 reached its limit in early trading, falling 17% to 222,190 yuan per ton, after a one-day suspension due to price volatility.

FUNDAMENTALS

* LME Copper CMCU3 was stable at $10,114 per ton, lead CMPB3 rose 1% to $2,378.5 and CMSN3 gained 2.5% to $44,850, while zinc CMZN3 was steady at $3,861.5.

* Copper ShFE SCFcv1 rose 0.4% to 72,130 yuan per ton, zinc SZNcv1 was up 0.5% at 25,550 yuan, lead SPBcv1 plunged 0.4% to 15,215 yuan and tin SSNcv1 was 0.5% lower at 342,820 yuan.

* China’s copper cathode production jumped 5.8% in February from a month earlier as major smelters ramped up output after maintenance, data from research house Antaike showed late Thursday.

* About 12 new metal mines in the Philippines are expected to come on stream from this year, mostly nickel projects, the local industry regulator said on Friday.

* For top metal stories and other news, click TOP/MTL Where MET/L

($1 = 6.3243 Chinese Yuan)

(Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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