Aluminum rallied to a record in London and nickel surged to the highest in more than a decade, pacing gains in industrial metals markets, as the deepening Ukraine crisis added to supply risks in an industry already facing critical shortages.
The gains will heap fresh inflationary pressure on buyers who use aluminum in everything from cars and cables to drinks cans, and the threat of disruption will be particularly troubling for manufacturers in Europe who buy large volumes of specialist products made from it that come from Russia.
U.S. President Joe Biden warned that Russia faces "severe sanctions" after his counterpart Vladimir Putin ordered a military attack on Ukraine. That raises the possibility of measures that could affect Russian supplies of aluminum, as well as other commodities.
Aluminum jumped as much as 4.8 percent to $3,449 a ton on the London Metal Exchange, surpassing a previous record set in 2008, while nickel surged to the highest since 2011. Copper edged lower, as the military action sparked a selloff in risk assets across financial markets.