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(Adds comment, updates prices) BEIJING, July 2 (Reuters) - Shanghai nickel prices slumped nearly 4% on Tuesday, tracking a steep fall in London in the previous session as investors chose to book profits after recent gains, while China tin prices dropped to their lowest in almost three years. Nickel, which is used to make stainless steel and batteries for electric vehicles (EVs), was the standout performer in the base metals complex in the first half of 2019 with a gain of more than 12% in London. But it is now on course to close lower for a third straight session. "Whilst the EV story appears to be the theme dominating any bullish news flows, elevated stainless stocks and increasing nickel pig iron production mean some specs see (the) short-term rally as overdone," broker Marex Spectron said in a note.
* NICKEL: The most traded August nickel contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange slumped as much as 3.9% to 97,080 yuan ($14,144.59) a tonne, the lowest since June 13, and ended the morning session at 97,150 yuan. Three-month nickel on the London Metal Exchange was down 1.3% at $12,185 a tonne as of 0355 GMT, after ending down 2.7% on Monday.
* TIGHTNESS: Nickel's momentum came from "flash", or sudden tightness in SHFE and LME stocks, Citi said in a note. "Both are technical and temporary in our view," it said, adding that: "We do not believe the nickel rally has legs in the near term, based on nickel's own fundamentals."
* COPPER: Three-month LME copper drifted down 0.1% to $5,947.50 a tonne, after ending 0.6% lower on Monday as euphoria over a U.S.-China trade truce gave way to lingering fears over demand. Shanghai copper slipped 1.2% to 46,690 yuan a tonne.
* FREEPORT: Freeport-McMoRan Inc said it expected to report a loss in the second quarter, hit by lower gold production, weaker copper prices and higher costs, sending the U.S. miner's shares down nearly 6%.
* ALUMINIUM: Shanghai aluminium prices dipped 1.1% to 13,630 yuan a tonne, the lowest since March 27, squeezing smelter margins in China, the world's biggest aluminium producer. They had hit as high as 14,380 yuan in May.
* TIN: Shanghai tin fell 3.1% to 138,080 yuan a tonne, its lowest since September 2016. "Domestic and foreign tin stocks are high, but demand is relatively low," a China-based tin trader said.
* ENVIRONMENT: The LME must force its brands to disclose their impact on the environment as part of the exchange's efforts to clean up supply chains, a letter signed by 16 NGOs said.
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* Asian shares were choppy as weak global manufacturing activity reinforced worries about slowing world growth.
DATA AHEAD (GMT)
0430 Australia RBA Cash Rate July0600 UK Nationwide House Price June1200 Brazil Industrial Output May
BASE METALS PRICES 0400 GMTThree month LME copper 5947Most active ShFE copper 46680Three month LME aluminium 1797Most active ShFE aluminium 13655Three month LME zinc 2456Most active ShFE zinc 19580Three month LME lead 1914.5Most active ShFE lead 16180Three month LME nickel 12175Most active ShFE nickel 97150Three month LME tin 18730Most active ShFE tin 138460
BASE METALS ARBITRAGE
LME/SHFE COPPER LMESHFCUc3 594.58LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM LMESHFALc3 -175.3LME/SHFE ZINC LMESHFZNc3 123.61LME/SHFE LEAD LMESHFPBc3 873.25LME/SHFE NICKEL LMESHFNIc3 787.24
($1 = 6.8634 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)