Base metals prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were broadly lower during Asian morning trading on Thursday, with rising geopolitical tensions subduing risk appetite in the market.

Geopolitical tensions picked up overnight after United States President Donald Trump made heated remarks about Russia’s involvement in Syria in a tweet, with a warning that American missiles may soon strike Syria after last week’s suspected chemical attack.

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LME snapshot at 02.57am London time
Latest three-month LME Prices
  Price ($ per tonne)  Change since yesterday's close ($)
Copper 6,883 -67
Aluminium 2,232.5 -17.5
Lead 2,372 -37
Zinc 3,173 -65
Tin 20,955 -45
Nickel 13,720 -145

SHFE snapshot at 09.57am Shanghai time
Most-traded SHFE contracts
  Price (yuan per tonne)  Change since yesterday's close (yuan)
Copper  50,710 -390
Aluminium 14,275 -100
Zinc 23,865 -715
Lead 18,600 115
Tin  143,050 -1,230
Nickel  101,420 -250

The US' imports of unwrought aluminium rose in February versus the same month last year, according to US International Trade Commission data.

Market participants in the US are grappling with the implications of sanctions placed on UC Rusal by the US Department of the Treasury on April 6, with indications suggesting that aluminium supply should tighten in the coming months. 

The first shipments from Codelco’s pilot scheme to produce decommoditized copper with traceability throughout the supply chain are expected at the end of the year or by the start of 2019, the chairman of the Chilean state-run copper company said in an interview with Metal Bulletin.

Chinese laws restricting the nation's copper scrap imports have already materially affected the European market, Aurubis executive board chairman Jürgen Schachler told Metal Bulletin in an interview.

European spot prices for molybdic oxide and ferro-molybdenum have dropped in line with demand on the spot market, with dealers expecting further price losses until renewed demand is triggered.