Aluminum Heads for Biggest Drop in Seven Weeks as China Slows

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Aluminum was poised for a weekly loss amid fears that a slowdown in China’s economy is lowering metals demand from the largest consumer, while the nation’s removal of export duties threatens to worsen a global glut.

The metal has fallen 1.6 percent this week, the most since March 6. The government removed fees to ship certain aluminum products from China, which may shift the nation’s supply glut overseas. HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics’ preliminary Purchasing Managers’ Index for Chinese manufacturing slid to 49.2 for April, the second month below the 50 level that signals contraction, results showed Thursday.

“We do worry about the implications of long-term structural issues that caused the government to introduce measures,” to stimulate the Chinese economy, said Daniel Hynes, a senior commodity strategist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. in Sydney. “The markets do need to see some follow-up data points indicating demand is responding.”

Aluminum for delivery in three months rebounded 0.4 percent to $1,784 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange at 3:18 p.m. in Hong Kong. The metal fell 1.6 percent Thursday, the most in 10 weeks.

Copper in London rose 0.5 percent to $5,970.50 a ton ($2.71 a pound). In New York, July futures rose 0.2 percent to $2.708 a pound, while in Shanghai metal for June climbed 0.7 percent to close at 43,310 yuan ($6,989) a ton.

Nickel on the LME rose 1.8 percent to $12,930 a ton, heading for the biggest weekly advance in almost three months.

Also on the LME, lead, zinc and tin rose.

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