SINGAPORE, Nov 4 (Reuters) - Shanghai aluminum prices rose to their highest in almost a month on Monday due to a drop in inventories of the metal used in transport and packaging and as signs of a pick up in demand emerged.
The most active aluminum contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) rose as much as 0.9% to 13,960 yuan ($1,985.15) a tonne, its highest since Oct. 9. It was up 0.6% at 13,925 yuan a tonne, as of 0227 GMT.
Benchmark three-month aluminum on the London Metal Exchange (LME) eased 0.2%, after jumping 1.8% in the previous session, its strongest gain since Aug. 8.
* ALUMINIUM STOCKS: Aluminium stocks in warehouses tracked by ShFE <AL-STX-SGH> dropped to their lowest since March 2017 at 278,736 tonnes, while LME aluminum inventories <MALSTX-TOTAL> dipped to their lowest since Sept. 30 at 956,200 tonnes.
* SPREAD: The difference between the LME aluminum cash and three month contracts <CMAL0-3> flipped to a premium for the first time since January to $4.75 a tonne, indicating tight nearby supplies.
* ALUMINIUM DEMAND: Anti-plastic trend has started to boost demand for aluminum packaging, while electric cars will also boost consumption for the metal, Novelis senior vice president and Europe president Emilio Braghi said.
* BALANCE: The global aluminum market is due to flip into a surplus of 304,000 tonnes next year from a deficit of 658,500 tonnes in 2019, a recent Reuters poll showed.
* LME WAREHOUSE: The London Metal Exchange will allow warehouses in its network to extend queues for loading out metal, and will require them to report stocks stored outside the LME system that could be brought in at a later date.
* TRADE DEAL: The United States and China on Friday said they made progress in talks aimed at defusing a nearly 16-month-long trade war that has harmed the global economy, and U.S. officials said a deal could be signed this month.
* LME PRICES: LME copper edged up 0.1% to $5,858 a tonne, nickel fell 0.3% to $16,725 a tonne, zinc rose 0.2% to $2,526 a tonne and lead edged up 0.1% to $2,165 a tonne.
* SHFE PRICES: ShFE copper was almost unchanged at 47,030 yuan a tonne, nickel rose 0.5% to 134,000 yuan a tonne, zinc advanced 0.5% to 19,040 yuan a tonne while lead fell 0.5% to 16,455 yuan a tonne and tin dropped 0.8% to 136,310 yuan a tonne.
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* Asian shares rose to 14-week highs as growing optimism over U.S.-China trade talks and upbeat U.S. job data boosted global investors' appetite for riskier assets.
DATA/EVENTS AHEAD (GMT)
0030 Australia Retail Sales MM Sept
0850 France Markit Mfg PMI Oct
0855 Germany Markit/BME Mfg PMI Oct
0900 EU Markit Mfg Final PMI Oct
1500 US Factory Orders MM Sept
Three month LME copper
Most active ShFE copper
Three month LME aluminum
Most active ShFE aluminum
Three month LME zinc
Most active ShFE zinc
Three month LME lead
Most active ShFE lead
Three month LME nickel
Most active ShFE nickel
Three month LME tin
Most active ShFE tin
ARBS ($1 = 7.0322 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Aditya Soni)