April 22, 2019 / 2:16 AM / a month ago

METALS-Shanghai aluminium hits 5-1/2-month high as inventories drop

    SINGAPORE, April 22 (Reuters) - The most active aluminium
contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE)          hit
its highest since November 2018 on Monday, following a drop in
inventories last week.
    Shanghai aluminium jumped to as high as 14,175 yuan
($2,114.44) a tonne, after data on Friday showed that aluminium
stocks in warehouses tracked by ShFE AL-STX-SGH dropped to
665,067 tonnes, their lowest weekly level since November 2017.
    The contract last week broke its psychological 14,000-yuan
barrier, considered an average break-even for Chinese aluminium
smelters, for the first time in four-and-a-half months on an
improved outlook for the metal in China, its top user.
    * Shanghai copper          was almost flat at 49,400 yuan a
tonne, as of 0200 GMT, while nickel          rose 0.9 percent
and zinc          edged up 0.3 percent.
    * China's refined copper output reached 705,000 tonnes in
March, up 10.2 percent from a year earlier, the country's
National Bureau of Statistics said. 
    However, that is the lowest monthly total in records on the
bureau's website since June 2016, according to Reuters
    * Chinese authorities will start accepting applications for
licences to import unspecified quantities of
soon-to-be-restricted types of scrap metal from late May, the
recycling branch of the China Nonferrous Metals Industry
Association said on Saturday.             
    * The London Metal Exchange is closed for a public holiday
and will be open again on Tuesday.
    * For the top stories in metals and other news, click       
    * Asian stocks were steady as investors awaited the return
of major financial markets from the Good Friday holiday, while
oil prices spiked on a report that the United States is likely
to ask all importers of Iranian oil to end their purchases or
face sanctions.                
    1400   U.S.          Existing Home Sales       March
    Three month LME copper                  
    Most active ShFE copper                  
    Three month LME aluminium               
    Most active ShFE aluminium               
    Three month LME zinc                    
    Most active ShFE zinc                    
    Three month LME lead                    
    Most active ShFE lead                    
    Three month LME nickel                 
    Most active ShFE nickel                   
    Three month LME tin                     
    Most active ShFE tin                             

($1 = 6.7039 Chinese yuan)

 (Reporting by Mai Nguyen, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
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