Aluminium prices jumped more than 5% today after Australia banned the export of materials used to make the metal to Russia as part of its sanctions against Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the London Metal Exchange's benchmark nickel contract fell to $31,380 a tonne.

It hit the LME's lower trading limit, now set at 15%, for a fourth session in a row, on selling triggered by expectations of falling prices for the metal.

The LME suspended nickel trading on March 8 after prices spiked by more than 50% to over $100,000 a tonne. It resumed trading on March 16 but has adjusted the trading limit down each day since then.

Benchmark aluminium was up 3.7% at $3,507 a tonne today after earlier touching $3,554, its highest level since March 10.

Australia imposed an immediate ban on exports of alumina and aluminium ores, including bauxite, to Russia.

"Taken together with disrupted exports from Ukraine, Russia's smelters are facing a significant supply shortfall of raw materials," said Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke.

"While the ban could be seen more as a symbolic sign, as Russia anyway struggled to sell its aluminium, the news is likely to be taken positively by the market," he added.