The SHFE base metals were split into two camps with copper, zinc and lead prices weakening, while aluminium, nickel and tin prices showed greater resilience toward the market volatility and managed to secure marginal gains.
Aluminium prices were supported by news of a breakdown in negotiations between Alcoa workers and management leading to industrial action stalling operations at the Pinjarra alumina refinery in Western Australia.
But fresh sanctions from the US against Russia has stirred up further volatility in the aluminium market, which along with the firmer dollar, is stifling any meaningful price gains in the light metal.
The most traded October aluminium contract on the SHFE stood at 14,650 yuan ($2,139) per tonne as at 10.49am Singapore time, up 30 yuan per tonne from last Friday’s close.
The market is also bracing itself for any repercussions stemming from US President Donald Trump’s announcement last Friday of plans to double tariffs on aluminium and steel imports from Turkey to 20% and 50%, respectively.
Still, continued drawdowns of London Metal Exchange aluminium stocks are providing a more bullish outlook for the market, according to Metal Bulletin analyst Andy Farida. LME aluminium stocks stood at 1,149,825 tonnes last Friday, down 35,450 tonnes from 1,185,275 tonnes a week earlier.
Zinc was the worst performer this morning, with its most-traded October contract falling 0.5% to 21,180 yuan per tonne.
“Although Chinese domestic consumers have started looking at the import market amid shortage of refined zinc availability, the rise in the US dollar has affected purchasing capacity,” Farida said. Base metals prices
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