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METALS-Shanghai lead hits 1-1/2-year low amid high stocks

Mai Nguyen

(Adds chart, updates prices) SINGAPORE, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Shanghai lead prices slumped over 1.5% on Tuesday to their lowest in a year and a half, as inventories more than doubled from the end of September amid a global economic slowdown. The most active lead contract on the Shanghai Futures

Exchange (ShFE) dropped as much as 1.6% to 15,315 yuan

($2,175.77) a tonne, its lowest since April 2018. The contract has lost about 10% since the beginning of October. Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange

(LME) slipped as much as 0.2% to $1,932.50 a tonne,

having closed at its lowest since July 9 in the previous session. "Fundamentally, (market) looks weaker than before. Macro is the main factor," said a trader dealing with lead. Lead is used mostly in batteries, and a weaker global economic growth amid a prolonged trade dispute between the United States and China has been denting its demand. FUNDAMENTALS

* STOCKS: On-warrant lead inventories in LME-approved warehouses <MPBSTX-TOTAL>, or metal not earmarked for delivery, were last reported at 64,475 tonnes, up 49% so far this year, while stockpiles in warehouses tracked by ShFE <PB-STX-SGH> have leaped nearly 127% since end-September to 35,157 tonnes.

* SPREAD: The LME cash lead contract has been at discount over the three-month contract <CMPB0-3> for nearly two weeks and was last seen at $17.75 a tonne, the largest discount since April 30, suggesting nearby supplies are not tight.

* LEAD BALANCE: Refined lead will move into a global surplus of 55,000 tonnes next year, after being in a deficit of 46,000 tonnes in 2019, the International Lead and Zinc Study Group said in its latest report last month.

* PRICES: LME copper eased 0.1% to $5,864 a tonne by

0406 GMT, aluminum rose 0.1% to $1,737.50 a tonne,nickel edged up 0.1% to $14,500 a tonne, zincadvanced 0.2% to $2,285.50 a tonne and tin dropped 0.5%

to $16,385 a tonne.

* SHFE PRICES: Copper was almost unchanged at

47,060 yuan a tonne, aluminum fell 0.5% to 13,765 yuana tonne, nickel decreased 0.3% to 114,370 yuan a tonne,zinc declined 0.5% to 17,955 yuan a tonne, while tin

lost 0.2% to 138,450 yuan a tonne.

* NICKEL: China's nickel ore imports from Indonesia surged 23.4% in October from the previous month, customs data showed on Monday, as Chinese buyers continued to stock up ahead of a ban on exports from top miners from January.

* COPPER: Chile, the world's top copper producer, reassured jittery mining companies on Monday after saying it would do everything possible to provide a business-friendly environment even as a month of riots across the country have left more than 20 dead and billions in damages.

* TRADE TALKS: Top trade negotiators from China and the United States held a phone call on Tuesday, China's Commerce Ministry said, as the two sides try to hammer out a preliminary "phase one" deal in a trade war that has dragged on for 16 months.

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PRICES 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 = 7.0389 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Mai Nguyen, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)