Aluminum prices rise for a second straight day on hopes of economic stimulus in China, the biggest consumer, but the London Metal Exchange's attempt to reopen trading in the nickel market was delayed for hours due to problems with the LME's electronic system.
According to Reuters, LME benchmark aluminum (LMAHDS03:COM) recently was +2.2% at $3,328.50/metric ton; prices have been volatile since Ukraine was invaded by Russia - which produces 6% of global supply - surpassing $4K/ton on March 7 and falling to as low as $3,200 two days ago.
LME nickel (LN1:COM) plunged 8% to $41,945/ton, the maximum allowed under new exchange rules, as soon as the market opened, with only eight contracts traded before trading was halted.
The LME is being sharply criticized by metals market veterans and general investors alike for its handling of the situation, and Bloomberg reports several have said they will stop trading on the market.
The latest nickel price drop brings LME prices closer to the value of futures in Shanghai, which continued to trade during the London suspension.
After uncertainty about exports from Russia pushed prices to record highs, aluminum futures fell 10% last week.