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April 2017 | Base Metals

Aluminium: Prices, fund position peaked

Defying the trend in the other base metals, aluminium has been going it alone, even setting a fresh high last week. Money manager net length ended the first quarter at a record high too, reflecting the bullish sentiment in this market. This strong tone is unlikely to last now that risk aversion is picking up across the rest of the base metals complex. A pick-up in Chinese aluminium production and semis exports may also have a dampening effect on toppy aluminium prices in the near term.

28-month peak probably the last higher high for a while
Aluminium prices broke higher last week and set an intraday high of $1,981/tonne, the highest level since December 2014. New highs have prompted fresh selling, but prices seemed to be absorbing it well. The weekly average LME aluminium cash price was reading $1,947/tonne, up 0.7% from previous week’s $1,933/tonne.

The base metal complex declined quite significantly on Friday following the US attack on Syria, somewhat overshadowing the bilateral talks between US president Trump and Chinese president Xi. Both leaders spoke positively of their encounter, with Trump saying that “tremendous progress” had been made, while Xi was similarly optimistic, but offered only broad generalities. The two leaders agreed to a new...


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