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LONDON: Aluminium led industrial metals lower on Tuesday after Russia promised to scale down its military operations around Kyiv and in northern Ukraine, easing supply concerns that have underpinned prices.

In peace talks on Tuesday Ukraine proposed adopting neutral status with security guarantees to protect it from attack.

Signs of a lull in the conflict took the steam out of aluminium and other metals prices. Sanctions on Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine had triggered supply concerns as Russia is a major producer of nickel, aluminium and copper.

It is also a leading supplier of gas to Europe, where potential disruptions were seen hitting power-intensive production of aluminium and zinc.

“The price jump is driven by the hope that there will be an agreement between Russia and Ukraine to end this conflict,” said one metals analyst.

“The reaction could be short if the expectations run ahead of reality.” Benchmark three-month aluminium on the London Metal Exchange (LME) had shed 4.6% to $3,470 a tonne by 1630 GMT.

World stock markets and global borrowing costs surged on Tuesday as the first face-to-face talks between warring Russia and Ukraine in nearly three weeks yielded signs of progress.

Meanwhile the rest of the LME base metals complex is battling with a lack of liquidity, analysts and traders said.

“(Base metals) price movements are still centred around the lack of liquidity and Ukraine situation,” said Amelia Fu, Bank of China International’s (BOCI) head of global commodities strategy.

RUSSIA GAS: Russia said it would work out practical arrangements by Thursday for foreign companies to pay for its gas in roubles, raising the probability of supply disruptions as Western nations have so far rejected Moscow’s demand for a currency switch.

EXCHANGE: The LME board will see what lessons can be learned from this month’s chaotic nickel trading, the chief executive of its parent company Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing said on Tuesday.

OTHER PRICES: LME copper was flat at $10,337 a tonne, lead rose 0.6% to $2,383, zinc shed 1.1% to $4,039, nickel was off 2.7% to $31,840, and tin was down 0.4% at $42,375.

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