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METALS-Chinese ban on North Korean imports gives lead a fillip

* LME/ShFE arb: http://tmsnrt.rs/2oQ5nm2

* Chinese Jan-June lead ore imports from N.Korea up 49 pct

* Aluminum hits 32-month high (Updates with official prices)

LONDON, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Lead prices climbed on Tuesday after Beijing banned imports of lead ore from North Korea, while other base metals rebounded as geopolitical tensions eased and lending data in top metals consumer China beat expectations.

Investors moved back into riskier assets such as commodities and shares after North Korea's leader delayed a decision on firing missiles towards Guam while he waits to see what the United States does next.

Data showed that Chinese new loans last month came in at 825.5 billion yuan ($123.6 billion), higher than analyst forecasts of 800 billion, calming investor nerves after a cooling of the property market and weak industrial output.

"I suppose the only glimmer of light came in the new yuan loans, which beat consensus, and maybe that suggests that things will remain stable as we go forwards," said Robin Bhar, head of metals research at Societe Generale in London.

"The metals seem well poised. After a period of consolidation this week perhaps we'll have another push towards those (recent) highs going forward."

* N.KOREA LEAD: Lead prices rose after China issued an order on Monday to implement United Nations sanctions on North Korea, banning imports of lead ore among other commodities.

Chinese imports of lead ores and concentrates from North Korea surged 49 percent in the first six months of the year, accounting for 10 percent of the total.

* LME LEAD: Benchmark lead prices were the biggest gainers on the London Metal Exchange, rising 2.3 percent to trade at $2,388 a tonne in official open-outcry activity.

"Many commentators (are) suddenly becoming favorable to the lead market based on tight supply and the potential loss of North Korean ore which will affect China more than anyone else," Malcolm Freeman of Kingdom Futures said in a note.

* NICKEL STOCKS: LME nickel traded down 0.3 percent at $10,415 in official rings, after inventories stored in LME-certified warehouses increased by 8,970 tonnes to 384,258 tonnes. <MNISTX-TOTAL>

* COPPER: Three-month LME copper, untraded in official activity, was bid up 0.3 percent at $6,414. Prices hit their highest in more than 2-1/2 years on Aug. 9 at $6,515 and are up almost 8 percent this quarter.

* ZINC: LME zinc was bid 1.3 percent higher at $2,955. "Zinc forwards were aggressively bid. Zinc is likely to find some legs if it breaches $2,985 with large options OI (open interest) sitting across Sept and Oct between the $3,000 and $3,500 strikes," Alastair Munro at broker Marex Spectron said in a note.

* PRICES: LME aluminum was bid up 1.3 percent at $2,050, the highest since Nov. 27, 2014, while tin traded down 0.3 percent at $20,250 in official rings. ($1 = 6.6811 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Eric Onstad; Editing by Dale Hudson and Susan Thomas)