* LME/ShFE arb: bit.ly/2wZSAEz
* GRAPHIC-2017 asset returns: tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl (Recasts, adds closing prices)
LONDON, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Copper hit a near two-week high on Thursday on global growth hopes after upbeat manufacturing data from China, overlooking a stronger dollar and Beijing’s surprise interest rates hike.
China’s industrial output expanded at a faster than expected pace in November as growth in the world’s top industrial metals consumer remains resilient, supported in part by a construction boom.
The dollar gained versus the euro after the European Central Bank raised growth and inflation forecasts but stuck with its pledge to provide stimulus for as long as needed. On Wednesday, the U.S. Federal Reserve’s move to raise rates as expected but sound a cautious note on inflation knocked the greenback lower.
A strong dollar makes dollar-priced metals costlier for non-U.S. investors.
In a surprise move following on from the Fed, China’s central bank lifted money market rates overnight in a bid to diffuse financial risks without damaging the economy, a balancing act it has managed successfully so far this year.
“In a rising rate cycle, copper rallies because regardless of currency moves you’re talking about an improving economic outlook. Also, you still have (copper) supply risks in the headlines,” said Alastair Munro at broker Marex Spectron.
* COPPER PRICE: London Metal Exchange copper closed up 1 percent at $6,793 a tonne, having hit the highest since Dec. 4 at $6,847. Copper’s chart picture has improved, having closed above the 100-day moving average for two days running.
* ALUMINIUM: China’s primary aluminium production fell for a fifth consecutive month in November, official data showed, as the country’s winter restrictions on smelters pushed output to its lowest since February 2015.
* ALUMINIUM PRICE: Aluminium closed up 2 percent at $2,050, its strongest one-day gain since September.
* JAPAN MANUFACTURING: Japanese manufacturing activity expanded at the fastest pace in almost four years in December.
* ALUMINIUM M&A: Liberty House, the UK-based industrial and commodities group, is considering a bid for Rio Tinto’s aluminium smelter in northern France, the largest in Europe.
* MARKETS: World stock markets, seen by some as a proxy for economic growth, were little changed after policy meetings from major central banks in Europe and the U.S.
* COPPER OUTPUT: Zambia’s 2017 copper output is expected to increase to 800,000-850,000 tonnes from 774,290 tonnes in the last year, mines minister Christopher Yaluma said..
* TIN PRICE: Tin closed up 0.5 percent at $18,900, having slid to a six-month low on Wednesday after breaking through key chart support.
* OTHER METALS: Zinc closed up 1.1 percent at $3,187, nickel closed up 0.5 percent at $11,155 and lead closed down 1.5 percent at $2,486. The battery metal recently hit six-year highs.
Additional reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by David Evans and Elaine Hardcastle
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