(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. FUNDAMENTALS * 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 tonnes. * 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 or PRICES 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 = 6.8593 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
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