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METALS-London aluminium hits over 5-year high on China supply cuts

(Updates prices, adds analyst comment) BEIJING/MELBOURNE, Oct 26 (Reuters) - London aluminium surged to its highest in more than five years on Thursday on expectations of dwindling supply of both aluminium and its raw materials, as China imposes restrictions on industrial output over winter. The seasonal curbs on aluminium production itself will not be as severe as expected, analysts at Standard Chartered said in a note, referring to an apparent reprieve for top producer China Hongqiao Group, which looks to have escaped a full 30 percent cut.

"However, new price support has emerged in the form of cost inflation related to the still-rigorous application of upstream winter heating-season capacity cuts for both alumina refineries and other raw material production," they added.

FUNDAMENTALS

* London Metal Exchange aluminium peaked at $2,211 a tonne, the highest since March 2012. Prices traded at $2,209 a tonne by 0452 GMT.

* Shfe aluminium was trading at 16,495 yuan ($2,489.25) a tonne, levels not seen in more than a week, but remained well below their recent near eight-year high of 17,345 yuan a tonne from last month.

* The move in LME aluminium came amid a weaker dollar, improving chart picture, and options positioning, traders said. A weaker dollar makes metals more affordable for buyers paying with other currencies.

* Other metals were also supported with LME zinc and nickel up 1 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively. London copper was steady above the $7,000 mark, not far from a three-year high of $7,177 a tonne hit earlier this month.

* In Shanghai, zinc rallied 1.5 percent, but Shfe nickel fell 0.2 percent. Shanghai rebar prices fell 1.5 percent, which could drag down steel inputs nickel and zinc later in the session.

* The euro inched higher on Thursday, as investors awaited details of the European Central Bank's plans for scaling back its bond-buying stimulus programme, while the dollar took a breather after its recent rally.

* Norsk Hydro said on Wednesday curtailments of primary production in China have driven positive sentiment and could result in a tighter aluminium market in 2018.

* China Zhongwang Holdings Ltd said on Thursday it had acquired a controlling stake in an Australian all-aluminium superyacht builder, as the Chinese firm aims to expand the application of aluminium in the marine sector.

* Aluminum Corp of China and Jiangxi Copper are due to report third-quarter earnings on Thursday. Zhongwang will report its full-year 2016 numbers on Friday.

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BASE 0452 GMT

METALS PRICES

Three month LME copper 7020.5 Most active ShFE copper 54960 Three month LME aluminium 2209 Most active ShFE aluminium 16495 Three month LME zinc 3223 Most active ShFE zinc 26070 Three month LME lead 2499 Most active ShFE lead 19275 Three month LME nickel 11920 Most active ShFE nickel 95910 Three month LME tin 19850 Most active ShFE tin 145620

BASE METALS ARBITRAGE

LME/SHFE COPPER LMESHFCUc3 513.62 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM LMESHFALc3 -526.65 LME/SHFE ZINC LMESHFZNc3 541.51 LME/SHFE LEAD LMESHFPBc3 -784.72 LME/SHFE NICKEL LMESHFNIc3 2071.99

(Reporting by Melanie Burton and Tom Daly in BEIJING; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Biju Dwarakanath)