METALS-Copper edges up as key China data lifts sentiment

 (Updates prices)
    By Mai Nguyen
    SINGAPORE, Jan 17 (Reuters) - London copper prices edged up
on Friday after two sessions of losses, lifted by
better-than-expected data from China - the world's biggest
consumer of the malleable metal.
    China on Friday announced a slew of economic data for 2019,
including gross domestic product, industrial production and
fixed-asset investments, which are closely tracked by industrial
metals participants.
    Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange
(LME)         was up 0.4% at $6,300 a tonne, as of 0703 GMT. 
     The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures
Exchange (ShFE)          recovered from early losses to trade
flat at 49,250 yuan ($7,180.03) a tonne following the release of
the key economic data.
    "This (data) provides China government a lot of flexibility
on how to protect growth. At the same time, market sentiment is
improved after the signing of a Phase 1 trade deal," said
analyst Helen Lau of Argonaut Securities.
    Capping gains were concerns whether China's recovery phase
would sustain.
    "The economy had lots of government support last year. Can
it do on its own this year?" analyst Helen Lau of Argonaut
Securities said, adding that there is increasing concerns about
bad debts.
    * INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION: Industrial output grew 6.9% in
December from last year, the strongest pace in nine months and
beating analysts' expectations that growth would have dipped to
5.9% from 6.2% in November.
    * INVESTMENT: Fixed-asset investment rose 5.4% for the full
year, higher than expectations of a 5.2% increase.
    * GDP: China's economic growth slowed to its weakest in
nearly 30 years in 2019, but in line with expectation, while the
economy ended the year on a firmer note as trade tensions eased.
    * PERU COPPER: Copper production last year in Peru, the
world's no.2 copper producer, rose 4% annually to 2.5 million
    * ALUMINIUM: China's annual aluminium production fell for
the first time in 10 years in 2019 to 35.04 million tonnes on
softer demand and large-scale smelter outages, but December
output of 3.04 million tonnes was the second-highest monthly
figure on record.             
    * EV BATTERY: Volkswagen AG             is set to take a 20%
stake in Chinese electric vehicle battery maker Guoxuan
High-tech Co Ltd             as the German firm accelerates its
electric push into China.             
    * PRICES: LME aluminium         was unchanged at $1,812 a
tonne, nickel         rose 0.9% to $13,895 a tonne, zinc        
fell 0.5% to $2,410.50 a tonne, while lead         eased 0.1% to
$2,001 a tonne.
    * SHANGHAI: ShFE aluminium          climbed 1.2% to 14,280
yuan a tonne, nickel          dropped 2.4% to 108,440 yuan a
tonne, while zinc          rose 0.7% to 18,360 yuan a tonne.
    * For the top stories in metals and other news, click       
    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                             

($1 = 6.8593 Chinese yuan)

 (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and
Sherry Jacob-Phillips)