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Global aluminum demand to slow in 2012, says top producer

Norsk Hydro, one of the world's top aluminum producers, sees growth in global aluminum demand weakening in 2012 as a result of economic turbulence that is creating a weak market and pushing many industry players into the red. In a press release, Hydro's President and CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg showed confidence in the market and he company, despite the fact Hydro's stocks dropped 2.9 percent after the prediction.

Stocks rally, lifting commodities

North American stock exchanges are on a tear today after central banks made more funds available to lenders, giving investors hope for a way out of the European debt debacle. The markets were also cheered by better than expected private sector job growth in the United States. The mining-heavy S&P/TSX Composite was up 2.5% to just over 12,000 at time of writing. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 384 points, or 3.3%, the most on a closing basis since Aug. 11, according to Bloomberg. Spot gold was up $32 from yesterday to $1747 which is just above the 20-day moving average of $1744, noted Kitco. Silver was up marginally to $32.86 from yesterday's $31.92, while benchmark copper was up more than 5% to a two-week high of $7,885/tonne. Zinc, lead, aluminum and nickel were also up from Tuesday.

Alcoa approves next stage of $2.1 billion capital improvements in Quebec

Alcoa (NYSE:AA) will undertake the next phase of its five-year, $2.1 billion investment plan for its Baie-Comeau, Deschambault and Becancour smelters in Quebec. "The plan will move the Quebec smelters down the aluminum cost curve by 13 percentage points and contribute to Alcoa’s goal of achieving an overall 10-point improvement. The plan will also increase production capacity by 120,000 metric tons per year and reduce greenhouse gas emissions," said the company, which announced the approval on Monday. Alcoa estimates that 6,800 job-years will be sustained during the construction, and there will be $500 million of economic spin offs for the region.

Alcoa third quarter revenue, earnings higher than year-ago quarter, down sequentially on lower prices and European market weakness

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Alcoa (NYSE: AA) today reported increased third quarter revenue and earnings compared to the year-ago quarter, but lower results sequentially, primarily due to lower metal prices, seasonal factors and weakness in Europe. Income from continuing operations was $172 million, or $0.15 per share, in third quarter 2011, compared to $61 million, or $0.06 per share, in third quarter 2010 and $326 million, or $0.28 per share, in second quarter 2011. “Aluminum prices fell in the third quarter, but most markets continued to grow,” said Alcoa Chairman and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld.

Rusal’s profitability drops 20.5% due to increased debt charges and decrease in net share

UC Rusal, the world's largest aluminum producer, said on Monday that it had net profit of US$1.085 million for the first half of 2011, a decrease of 20.5% compared to net profit of US$1.365 million for the first half of 2010, due to certain non-cash items, mainly increase in the effective interest charges on restructured debt and decrease in net share in results of Norilsk Nickel. Revenue increased by 18.8% to US$6.323 million in the first half of 2011, as compared to US$5.321 million for the first half of 2010, mainly due to increased prices and improved product mix.

Two RUSAL partners seek to sell out

Two partners in the world's top aluminium producer, UC RUSAL , want to sell their stake to a third tycoon, Alisher Usmanov, owner of an iron ore miner and shareholder in Norilsk Nickel, Vedomosti reported on Friday.

China to invest $6 billion in Guinea bauxite

Chinese state-owned energy giant China Power Investment Corporation plans to invest six billion dollars to develop bauxite production in Guinea, the world's largest exporter of the main source of aluminium, a senior executive said here Saturday.