London aluminium steady, eyes biggest weekly gain since April

Published: October 05, 2018 14:04:57 | Updated: October 06, 2018 15:03:00


London aluminium held steady on Friday as worries over an alumina shortage stoked expectations of cost inflation, sending prices towards the biggest weekly gain in nearly six months.

London Metal Exchange (LME) aluminium was little changed at $2,168.50 a tonne, down just 0.1 per cent after hitting its loftiest since June at $2,267 the session before.

Prices were on track for a 5.8 per cent weekly rise, the biggest since April.

The Brazilian state of Para on Thursday said it was surprised when Norsk Hydro decided a day earlier to halt operations at Alunorte and asked for a report explaining the decision.

Other metals came under pressure from a stronger dollar.

LME copper eased by 1.2 per cent to $6,212.50 a tonne by 0638 GMT, after the US currency was boosted by solid demand for Treasuries following a strong payrolls report, reports Reuters.

LME zinc fell 1.9 per cent. A trader said there was small consumer buying coming in to offer support.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell to a near 49-year low last week, pointing to sustained labor market strength, which should continue to underpin economic growth.

The Shanghai Futures Exchange remains closed for the Golden Week holiday and will reopen on Monday.

Trade is expected to be lighter than usual next week as the year’s biggest industry event, LME Week, begins in London.

Uncertainty about how metals demand will be hit by trade wars, rising US interest rates and a slowdown in China are weighing on industrial metals prices, submerging signals pointing to potential shortages.

Chile’s antitrust court approved on Thursday a deal struck between Chilean regulators and Tianqi, allowing the Chinese miner to purchase a nearly one-quarter stake in lithium producer SQM.

Demand for automotive aluminium is set to more than double by 2025, driven by surging growth in Asia, a senior executive at Novelis Inc said on Thursday.

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