BEIJING, Jan 28 (Reuters) - London aluminium prices fell on
Monday after the United States formally lifted sanctions on
Russian aluminium producer United Company Rusal.

    The sanctions had sent London aluminium to a seven-year high
when they were announced in April last year amid fears of a
supply squeeze, but prices had since fallen back on expectations
that the measures would be withdrawn.
    There is likely to be little support from top aluminium
consumer China in the near term, with the country shutting down
for the week-long Lunar New Year break early next month.
    "This week end-user companies in eastern China have begun to
suspend production for the holiday and demand has turned
weaker," Jinrui Futures wrote in a note.
    Anticipated restarts to alumina production, including at
Norsk Hydro's Alunorte plant in Brazil, could keep pressure on
prices, it added.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * ALUMINIUM: Three-month aluminium on the London Metal
Exchange dropped as much as 1.4 percent to $1,892.50 a tonne
shortly after the open and stood at $1,902.50 as of 0440 GMT.
The most traded March aluminium contract on the Shanghai Futures
Exchange was flat at 13,530 yuan ($2,010.73) a tonne.
    * RUSAL: Shares in Rusal, which said Jean-Pierre Thomas had
resigned as chairman to comply with an imperative request from
the U.S. Treasury, rose by more than 5 percent in Hong Kong
after the U.S. announcement.
    * CHINA PROFITS: Earnings at China's industrial firms shrank
for a second straight month in December on slowing prices and
sluggish factory activity, piling more pressure on an economy in
the grips of its slowest growth in nearly three decades.

    * TRADE: Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will visit the United
States on Thursday and Friday for the next round of trade
negotiations with Washington.
    * OTHER METALS: LME copper edged down 0.1 percent to
$6.051.50 a tonne, while ShFE copper, tracking a jump
in London copper on Friday, hit a one-week high of 49,750 yuan a
tonne. Zinc was up 0.3 percent but all other LME metals
were trading lower.