By Melanie Burton
MELBOURNE, April 17 (Reuters) - Shanghai aluminium soared to nearly a four-year high on Monday after fresh capacity cuts in top producer China, while the country’s robust first-quarter growth underpinned its demand outlook for most metals.
Three new aluminium projects with a capacity of 2 million tonnes have been halted in Xinjiang in western China for violating rules aimed at curbing capacity, state-owned China Securities Times reported on Sunday.
Shanghai Futures Exchange aluminium jumped more than 4 percent on the news, with solid growth from China’s factories brightening the outlook for the complex.
China’s economy grew 6.9 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, slightly faster than expected, supported by a government infrastructure spending spree and a frenzied housing market that is showing signs of overheating.
China’s factory output rose 7.6 percent in March from a year earlier, while fixed-asset investment grew 9.2 percent in the first quarter, both beating expectations. “Given the solid numbers today, the higher cruising speed we have right now gives the government room to manoeuvre, with policies domestically and for abroad,” said Dominic Schnider of UBS Wealth management in Hong Kong.
“Policies can be more relaxed, and that could give the entire commodities quite a lift.”
* SHFE ALUMINIUM: Shanghai Futures Exchange aluminium closed 2.3 percent higher at 14,485 yuan a tonne, after climbing to its highest in five months earlier in the session at 14,995 yuan a tonne. A break of the November 2016 high at 15,015 yuan would open the way to prices last seen in February 2013.
* China is the world’s biggest producer of aluminium, accounting for more than half of global output.
* SHFE COPPER: ShFE copper rose 0.7 percent to 46,480 yuan a tonne while ShFE zinc finished 1.4 percent up at 21,860 yuan a tonne.
* LME: The London Metal Exchange was closed for the Easter break.
* CHINA EXPORTS: The 2017 export outlook brightened considerably after it reported forecast-beating trade growth in March and as U.S. President Donald Trump softened his anti-China rhetoric in an abrupt policy shift.
* CHINA PROPERTY: China’s property cooling measures are likely to show effects after April, China’s statistics bureau told reporters on Monday.
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* MARKETS: Shares dipped on Monday while the dollar and U.S. bond yields fell after soft U.S. economic data hurt investor sentiment already frayed by worries over North Korea and upcoming French elections.
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
Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell and Tom Hogue