Aluminium fell to a two-week low on Friday after news that sanctions-hit Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska would not seek re-election to Rusal’s board of directors, easing concerns that supply from the company would be disrupted.
Copper, meanwhile, is lower as uncertainties over the outlook for global growth and this week’s burst of US dollar strength weighed on prices.
In a statement, Rusal’s parent company EN+ said Deripaska had resigned from its board and undertaken not to stand again as a director of Rusal.
Aluminium hit a six-year high last month after the United States imposed sanctions on Rusal, the world’s second-biggest producer of the metal. It has since retraced more than half of those gains on hopes that supply may be hurt less than feared.
‘The key thing is that those risks that were priced in have to be crystalised for the price to remain where it got to,’ ETF Securities analyst Nitesh Shah said.
‘As (expectations grow) that the sanctions won’t be as constraining as the market had initially priced in, I think we are going to see a bit of a slide down.’
* ALUMINIUM PRICES: Three-month aluminium on the London Metal Exchange closed at $US2,270 a tonne, down one percent. Earlier it touched its weakest since May 2 at $US2,245 a tonne.
* ALUMINIUM SPREADS: The spread between aluminium for immediate delivery and the three-month contract held in backwardation – a forward curve structure indicative of market tightness, into which it flipped at the start of the week – though that shrank to just 50 cents a tonne.
Particular tightness in the curve was seen in the July to August spread, which was last trading in a $US19 backwardation.
* COPPER: LME copper ended the day down 0.3 per cent at $US6,855 a tonne, a 0.9 per cent fall week-on-week.
* FINANCIAL MARKETS: The dollar hit a five-month high against a basket of currencies, buoyed by a further rise in US Treasury yields that suggests an upbeat outlook for the world’s largest economy.
* NICKEL: LME nickel finished up 1.1 per cent at $US14,750 a tonne. ‘Discussions out of LME Week Asia have … been positive, with the focus on the rising impact of the electric vehicle market boosting sentiment,’ ANZ said in a note.
* OTHER METALS: LME zinc ended up 0.1 per cent at $US3,099.50 a tonne, while lead closed 1.9 per cent lower at $US2,330 a tonne and tin finished up 0.6 per cent at $US20,780 a tonne.