MELBOURNE, April 9 (Reuters) - London aluminium rallied two
percent on Monday and is expected to rise further on concerns
that sanctions by the United States on aluminium giant Rusal
 could hamper trade in some seven percent of the
world's annual supply of the metal. 
    The United States on Friday imposed sanctions against
Russian businessmen, companies and government officials,
striking at associates of President Vladimir Putin in one of
Washington's most aggressive moves to punish Moscow for a range
of activities.
    Shares of United Company Rusal Plc fell 31 percent
in Hong Kong on Monday after it was included in the new list.

    "Market concerns have that the sanction against Rusal and
its own technical default assessment may lead to supply shortage
in both aluminium and alumina," said Hong Kong broker Argonaut
in a report.
    Rusal produced some 3.7 million tonnes of aluminium in 2017,
about 7 percent of the world's total, Argonaut said. Its annual
alumina production of 11.5 million tonnes was also about 7
percent of the global total, while it produced about 4 percent
of the world's bauxite, the broker said.
    "It is expected that (the aluminium price rise) will
extend further," Argonaut said.
    * ALUMINIUM: London Metal Exchange aluminium rallied
2 percent to $2,082.0 a tonne by 0304 GMT, adding to a 1.6
percent gain on Friday and taking prices to the highest since
March 22. On the Shanghai Futures Exchange where markets
reopened after a four-day break, aluminium was up
nearly 1 percent. 
    * COPPER: LME copper edged up to $6,786 a tonne,
having dropped 0.7 percent on Friday. The world's biggest annual
copper conference, CESCO in Chile, begins this week. 
    * TRADE: U.S. President Donald Trump predicted on Sunday
that China would take down its trade barriers, expressing
optimism despite escalating trade tensions between the world's
two largest economies that have roiled global markets.

    * JAPAN COPPER: Japan's copper output in the first half of
the 2018/19 financial year to March 31 is forecast to rise 6
percent from the year before, Reuters calculations from plans
outlined by smelters showed, amid solid demand for
semiconductors and auto parts.
    * INVESTORS: Copper speculators upped their net long
position in copper futures and options in the most recent week
data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed.

    * NICKEL: Shanghai nickel prices sank 1.9 percent while zinc
prices slid 1.2 percent, tracking a drop in iron ore given
ongoing Sino-U.S. trade tensions.
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