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METALS-Aluminium falters after touching near two-month peak

Eric Onstad

* Lead sinks to lowest in over five weeks

* GRAPHIC-2019 asset returns: http://tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl

(Updates with closing prices) LONDON, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Aluminum prices slipped from a near two-month peak on Friday as analysts warned that producers were on the sidelines ready to hedge. The price of aluminum had rallied 6% over the past two weeks, largely fueled by bearish investors buying back their short positions. But the global market is expected to flip into a surplus next year, according to analysts polled by Reuters. "I think whether it's got legs from here is pretty questionable. You don't have anything to suggest that the fundamentals are improving," said Marcus Garvey, commodities strategist at Macquarie in London. "One of the things that aluminum is going to run into up here is ... producer hedging starting to appear again in the market. On a margin basis, given the fall we've seen in the price of alumina over the course of this year, it's not a bad level for some people to start hedging."

A climb in the dollar index to the highest in more

than three weeks would also encourage forward selling by producers, Garvey added. Aluminum prices were capped on Thursday by "evidence of a producer offer," Dee Perera at broker Marex Spectron said in a note. Benchmark aluminum on the London Metal Exchange slipped 0.3% to $1,807.50 a tonne in final open-outcry trading, reversing after earlier touching $1,822, the highest since Sept. 12.

* TRADE DEAL: President Donald Trump on Friday told reporters he has not agreed to roll back tariffs on China but that Beijing would like him to do so.

* COPPER: LME copper fell 0.9% to finish at $5,924 a tonne after hitting its highest in more than three months on Thursday. "To properly break higher ... you probably need to see confirmation that some of the stuff announced yesterday is actually going to be delivered upon," Garvey said.

* CHINA IMPORTS: China's copper imports fell 3.1% in October from the previous month, customs data showed, as a cooling manufacturing sector in the country kept demand subdued.

* SHANGHAI STOCKS: Nickel stocks in warehouses certified by the Shanghai Futures Exchange <SNI-TOTAL-W> climbed 12% from a week earlier to 30,831 tonnes, their highest since the week ended June 1, 2018, while lead stocks <PB-STX-SGG> jumped 34.7% in the same period to a 10-week high.

* PRICES: LME lead fell 0.3% to end at $2,107 a tonne after hitting $2,084, the lowest since Oct. 2.

Nickel shed 0.1% to $16,190, paring losses aftertouching $15,845, its lowest since Aug. 28, zinc fell0.1% to $2,482 and tin rose 0.9% to $16,700.* For the top stories in metals and other news, click

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(Additional reporting by Mai Nguyen in Singapore; editing by Louise Heavens and Jason Neely)