* Second lawsuit in a week against industry players
* Lawsuit filed by small aluminium user in Florida,
By Melanie Burton
SINGAPORE, Aug 7 Glencore Xstrata and
JPMorgan Chase & Co face a U.S. lawsuit, along with the
London Metal Exchange, alleging they artificially inflated
aluminium prices, in the second legal challenge related to metal
warehousing in a week.
The suit, which also names Goldman Sachs and
subsidiaries of both Goldman and JP Morgan, accuses the firms of
engaging in anti-trust and racketeering practices.
The latest case, filed by Florida-based aluminium user
Master Screens and an individual plaintiff, expands the
geography and number of companies being sued in the unfolding
legal battle over warehousing.
Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan dismissed the suit.
"We believe this suit is without merit and we intend to
vigorously contest it. We also note that aluminium prices are
down 40 percent from their peak in 2006," a Goldman Sachs
"There are no queues at our warehouses. We believe this suit
has no merit," a JPMorgan spokesman said.
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited, owner of
the LME, declined to comment.
A Glencore spokesman declined to comment.
U.S. regulators are scrutinizing ownership of commodity
storage facilities by major U.S. banks.
Last week, Goldman and the LME were named as defendants in a
separate Detroit lawsuit.
The Florida lawsuit alleges "manipulation of the aluminium
market through supply price fixing," among other practices.
The lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, which is seeking class
action status and was filed on Aug. 6 in the U.S. District Court
for the Northern District of Florida, is Master Screens Inc. and
Daniel Price Bart, described in the filing as "a purchaser of
beverages sold in aluminium cans."