By Mai Nguyen
SINGAPORE, July 25 (Reuters) - Shanghai lead rose on Thursday, tracking a rally in London prices in the previous session, as investors were worried about a supply shortage amid some maintenance activities in China.
The most-traded lead contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange climbed 1.1% to 16,695 yuan ($2,429.42) a tonne at 0703 GMT, while London lead advanced 0.2% to $2,089 a tonne.
Three-month lead on the London Metal Exchange (LME) jumped 2.6% on Wednesday, its strongest gain in more than six weeks, as lead stockpiles in LME-approved warehouses MPBSTX-TOTAL fell to a fresh decade low of 57,425 tonnes.
London nickel dropped in early European trading hours, falling 3% to $14,115 a tonne, while Shanghai nickel ended down 1.7% at 110,040 yuan a tonne.
“Some people were very happy with the price increase yesterday and they expected price will be back to $15,000 again. However, today is a big drop. It’s just a big divergence between different companies,” said a nickel analyst based in China.
* PRICES: London copper was almost unchanged at $6,000.50 a tonne, while aluminium fell 0.2% and zinc declined 0.4%. Shanghai copper edged up 0.1%, aluminium advanced 0.8% and zinc dipped 0.1%.
* LEAD SPREAD: The difference between the LME cash lead contract over the three-month lead contract CMPB0-3 flipped to a premium of $1.5 a tonne on Wednesday, indicating near-term supply shortage.
* YUGUANG LEAD: Henan Yuguang Gold and Lead Co, China’s top lead producer, is due to finish its maintenance at a lead smelter in Jiyuan, Henan province on Thursday, an official at the firm said.
* TIN: Three-month tin spread CMSN0-3 also switched to a premium of $10 a tonne after staying in discount for most of July. Shanghai tin rallied 1.4%, while LME tin fell 0.7% after jumping the most in three weeks in the previous session.
* TRADE TALKS: Top U.S. and Chinese negotiators will meet face-to-face next week for the first time since Donald Trump and Xi Jinping agreed to revive talks to end their year-long trade war.
* COPPER: The chief executive officer of Polish miner KGHM said on Wednesday he expected copper prices to fluctuate around $6,000 per tonne by the end of the year.
* “We believe that considerably higher copper prices are justified from a fundamental perspective,” said Commerzbank analysts in a note, citing a deficit in the copper market.
* ALUMINIUM: The shutdown of 1.5 million tonnes-per-year of alumina refining capacity in China will curb oversupply of the aluminium raw material and see prices currently languishing near two-year lows reach a bottom, research house Antaike said.
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Three month LME copper
Most active ShFE copper
Three month LME aluminium
Most active ShFE aluminium
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 = 6.8720 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Additional reporting by Tom Daly in Beijing; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Gopakumar Warrier)