METALS-Aluminium falters after touching near two-month peak

    * Lead sinks to lowest in over five weeks
    * GRAPHIC-2019 asset returns:

 (Updates with closing prices)
    By Eric Onstad
    LONDON, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Aluminium 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 aluminium had rallied 6% over the past two
weeks, largely fuelled 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 aluminium 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.
    Aluminium prices were capped on Thursday by "evidence of a
producer offer", Dee Perera at broker Marex Spectron said in a
    Benchmark aluminium 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.

    * 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
    "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 after
touching $15,845, its lowest since Aug. 28, zinc         fell
0.1% to $2,482 and tin         rose 0.9% to $16,700. 
    * For the top stories in metals and other news, click       

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