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METALS-Copper steadies, China growth hopes boosted by cenbank support

* LME/ShFE arb: http://tmsnrt.rs/2oQ5nm2

* China c.bank shuffles market funding, injects medium term cash

* China April new yuan loans 1.1 trln yuan, more than expected (Adds official midday prices)

LONDON, May 12 (Reuters) - Copper steadied on Friday after hitting a one-week high in the previous session with investors encouraged by top copper consumer China's easing of monetary policy to stimulate growth.

China's central bank injected fresh funds through a medium-term lending facility on Friday while keeping a tight rein on short-term funding in an effort to dampen speculative investment.

Chinese banks extended 1.1 trillion yuan ($159 billion) in net new yuan loans in April, above analysts' expectations.

"While people were fearing tightening monetary policy in China would reduce growth, it's unlikely the Chinese will really push a hard tightening. They want to keep the economy on a very even keel in the run up to politburo change in the autumn," Nitesh Shah, commodity strategist at ETF Securities, said.

Reining in excessive local government debt and the shadow banking sector in China has been high on the central government's agenda in recent weeks, leading to concerns growth would stall.

* COPPER PRICES: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange traded flat at $5,542 a tonne in official midday rings, after settling 0.8 percent up overnight.

* COPPER STOCKS: LME data showed copper stocks fell 7,350 tonnes to 329,375, their lowest since March 3. Copper stocks in Shanghai Futures Exchange warehouses fell to 194,993 tonnes, their lowest since Jan. 20. <MCU-STOCKS>

* COPPER TECHNICALS: LME copper may test a support at $5,472 per tonne, a break below which could cause a further loss into the range of $5,365-$5,427.

* CHINA PMI: Surveys of manufacturers showed last week that activity slowed in April, while trade data this week showed import growth slowing and export growth halving.

* CHINA PRODUCTION: China's industrial output is expected to have risen by 7.1 percent in April, slowing from a 7.6 percent rise in March, while fixed asset investment probably stayed relatively stable at 9.1 percent in April.

* ALUMINIUM: Russian aluminium giant Rusal posted higher first-quarter recurring net profit on Friday amid stronger aluminium prices and said it was preparing to resume construction of its aluminium smelter in Siberia.

* OTHER METALS: Aluminium traded up 0.5 percent at $1,884 a tonne, nickel was last bid up 0.5 percent at $9,360, zinc was last bid flat at $2,592, lead traded down 0.3 percent at $2,171.50 while tin was last bid down 0.5 percent at $19,750.

($1 = 6.9029 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Additional reporting by James Regan; Editing by Susan Thomas and Elaine Hardcastle)