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METALS-Shanghai aluminium hits 2-mth high after Rio force majeure

(Adds analyst comment, updates prices) BEIJING, April 16 (Reuters) - Shanghai aluminium prices hit a two-month high on Monday after Rio Tinto said it would declare force majeure on certain customer contracts in light of U.S. sanctions on its partner, Russian aluminium giant Rusal. Rusal holds a 20 percent stake in Rio's Queensland Alumina refinery in Australia, as concerns over supply shortages focus not only on aluminium but also the substance used to make the metal. "China and Russia's aluminium industry are now both affected weekend, referring to a 10 percent import tariff imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump. "Trump's policies are bound to have an impact on the global aluminium landscape," it added. China, the world's largest aluminium producer, "may be able to step in and supply metal to Rusal customers, possibly even for political reasons", but this would be "only a temporary alleviation on the impact", said AZ China.

FUNDAMENTALS

* SHFE ALUMINIUM: The most-traded June aluminium contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was up 0.6 percent at 14,580 yuan ($2,321.21) a tonne by the mid-session interval. It earlier touched 14,670 yuan a tonne, its highest since Feb. 12.

* LME ALUMINIUM: Three-month aluminium on the London Metal Exchange was flat at $2,284.50 a tonne at 0330 GMT, after hitting a six-high year of $2,340 a tonne on Friday and posting its biggest weekly gain since the current contract was launched.

* RUSAL: Rio Tinto said on Friday it was reviewing Rusal's 20 percent stake in the Queensland Alumina refinery, Rusal's supply and offtake arrangements, bauxite sales to Rusal's refinery in Ireland and offtake contracts for alumina.

* RUSAL STOCK: Rusal shares fell more than 20 percent to a record low in early trading in Hong Kong. The stock was last trading at HK$1.59 ($0.2026), down from HK$4.64 on April 6 before U.S. sanctions were imposed.

* COLUMN: U.S. sanctions are an aluminium-tipped precision strike: Andy Home.

* COPPER: Three-month copper on the LME was down 0.2 percent at $6,818.50 a tonne, after edging up 0.1 percent on Friday, while ShFE copper slipped 0.1 percent to 50,350 yuan a tonne.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian share markets were mixed and oil prices fell on Monday as relief U.S.-led strikes on Syria looked unlikely to escalate was tempered by concerns at Russia's potential reaction to new sanctions from Washington.

PRICES

BASE METALS PRICES 0330 GMT Three month LME copper 6818.5 Most active ShFE copper 50330 Three month LME aluminium 2284.5 Most active ShFE aluminium 14585 Three month LME zinc 3097 Most active ShFE zinc 23410 Three month LME lead 2322 Most active ShFE lead 18210 Three month LME nickel 13935 Most active ShFE nickel 103380 Three month LME tin 20980 Most active ShFE tin 142960

BASE METALS ARBITRAGE

LME/SHFE COPPER LMESHFCUc3 424.01 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM LMESHFALc3 -2089.74 LME/SHFE ZINC LMESHFZNc3 246.64 LME/SHFE LEAD LMESHFPBc3 198.9 LME/SHFE NICKEL LMESHFNIc3 -49.62

($1 = 6.2812 Chinese yuan renminbi) ($1 = 7.8499 Hong Kong dollars)

(Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Richard Pullin and Joseph Radford)