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The aluminum price plunged 8 percent in minutes on the London Metal Exchange. He held a meeting with acting U.S. Secretary of State John Sullivan on Saturday during which the United States pledged its backing for Kiev but urged it to implement economic reforms, a U.S. representative said.

"The initial feedback from the US has been rather constructive", the source said, adding that French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire would discuss the issue later on Monday with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow.

Washington's clarification follows two weeks of chaos in global metal markets, during which manufacturers scrambled to secure supply.

"This affects the whole production chain, all the way to auto producers and the aerospace industry, said one German expert".

The US statement also adds pressure on Deripaska as he tries to save the company without surrendering control. "Given the impact on our partners and allies, we are issuing a general license extending the maintenance and wind-down period while we consider RUSAL's petition".

As a result of these sanctions, Rusal is not permitted to sell material into the USA and its assets under United States jurisdiction are frozen. Rusal's customers scrambled to find other suppliers while stockpiles of the metal from its abandoned orders piled up.


Shares in Rusal, one of the world's largest aluminum companies, jumped almost 18 percent on the Moscow Exchange on the announcement. The Kremlin and Deripaska did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

While analysts have suggested that nationalisation may be the only solution, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told reporters on Friday that Rusal was not on the list to be nationalized.

"Things have ground to a halt in terms of Rusal's dealings with major western companies", said Maximilian Hess, a senior political risk analyst at AKE International. However, the Russian oligarch is trying to save Rusal without surrendering control.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude dropped $1.03, or 1.5 percent, to $67.37 per barrel in NY while Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, lost 56 cents to $73.50 per barrel in London. "It looks as if there was a lot of pressure from the U.S. aluminium downstream industry".

The market has seen offers for duty-unpaid aluminium in Rotterdam as high as $200 per tonne in recent sessions, but several market participants no longer see such prices as achievable following the Treasury's latest decision.


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