* LME inventories for lead at lowest in a year
* LME/SHFe arb: tmsnrt.rs/2oQ5nm2 (Updates with closing prices)
By Zandi Shabalala
LONDON, April 28 (Reuters) - Lead hit its highest price in nearly two weeks on Friday as concerns about availability on the London Metal Exchange were reinforced by falling warehouse stocks.
Benchmark lead on the LME ended up 2 percent at $2,249 a tonne, its highest since April 18.
“I‘m positive on the fundamentals of lead,” said Societe Generale Head of Metals Research Robin Bhar, adding that falling stocks should help support prices and offset seasonally weaker demand.
LEAD: Stocks in LME-registered warehouses have fallen 13 percent to 165,275 tonnes over the last 27 days, their lowest in more than a year. MPBSTX-TOTAL
CANCELLED WARRANTS: Cancelled warrants -- material already earmarked for delivery and so not available to the market -- at nearly 52 percent of total stocks are adding to worries about tight supplies on the LME.
WARRANTS: Traders are also concerned that a large holding of LME warrants -- between 30 and 39 percent -- could exacerbate limited supply. <0#LME-WHC>
PREMIUM: The premium for nearby lead can be seen in the tom/next trade -- at $24 a tonne compared with a discount of $3 on Thursday CMPBT-0. The premium for the cash contract over the three-month has jumped to $24 a tonne from $13. CMPB0-3
COPPER: Three-month copper was bid up 0.4 percent to $5,713 a tonne, reversing losses from the previous session.
CHINESE MANUFACTURING: The pace of expansion in China’s manufacturing sector likely slowed this month, a Reuters poll showed. Data is due on Sunday, April 30.
ANTI-MINING: Nickel prices have been rising since Philippine Environment Secretary Regina Lopez said on Thursday she would ban open-pit mining.
NICKEL: LME nickel ended 1.2 percent higher to $9,450, touching its highest in nearly two weeks. The metal hit a 10-month low earlier this week.
ALUMINIUM: Aluminium shed 0.6 percent to $1,911.50 per tonne, near 27-month highs hit in March as LME stocks were at their lowest since 2008.
BHP SHAREHOLDERS: Two weeks after Elliott Management’s surprise assault on BHP Billiton, its demand for change is gaining little traction.
MARKET NEWS: Asian stocks slipped as investors took profits after a strong week, while the Korean won weakened after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would renegotiate or terminate a trade deal with South Korea.
OTHER METALS: Tin rose 0.3 percent to $19,900, while zinc added 1 percent to $2,623.
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Additional reporting by James Regan in Sydney; Editing by David Evans and Elaine Hardcastle