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LONDON: Aluminium prices extended gains on Friday on renewed worries about supply from Russia after peace talks faltered with Ukraine, while LME nickel tumbled 12% to hit limit down again.

Three-month aluminium on the London Metal Exchange (LME) added 0.4% to $3,399 a tonne in official open outcry trading, but was down about 1% on the week.

“The market is concerned that the Ukraine conflict could persist for longer, so that’s refocused attention on worries about supply for many commodities from Russia,” said Xiao Fu, head of commodity market strategy at Bank of China International.

“The spill-over impact of higher oil prices will have a much larger impact on aluminium than other base metals.”

Oil prices extended gains on Friday after slim progress in peace talks between Russia and Ukraine. They surged nearly 9% on Thursday in their largest percentage gain since mid-2020.

Missiles continued to rain down on Ukraine on Friday while a big gap remains with Russia on positions in peace talks for halting the fighting.

Metals were also buoyed by calmer conditions in top metals consumer China, where the government has launched a strategy to deal with rising COVID infections with minimal damage to the economy, Fu added.

“At first people were very worried that maybe China would suffer a sharper than expected slowdown, but it seems to be under control now, as well as financial markets after the regulator came in to support sentiment.”

China’s economic czar Vice Premier Liu He and other policymaking bodies offered assurances of more support on Wednesday.

The most-traded April aluminium contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange ended daytime trading up 3.3% at 22,810 yuan ($3,590.09) a tonne.

LME nickel slid by its maximum price limit for the third day running, dropping 12% in thin volumes to $36,915 a tonne when it opened. China’s aluminium imports in the first two months of 2022 were down 26.2% from a year earlier, data showed on Friday.

LME copper edged down 0.1% in official activity to $10,235 a tonne, zinc added 0.4% to $3,842, lead gained 0.7% at $2,267, and tin climbed 1.6% to $42,350.

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