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METALS-Copper holds steady after in-line China economic report

(Adds comment, detail, updates prices) MELBOURNE, Oct 19 (Reuters) - London copper held steady on Thursday after in-line economic readings out of China signalled some moderation in growth. China's economic growth slowed slightly as expected in the third quarter as the government's efforts to rein in the property market and debt risks tempered activity in the world's second-largest economy. "China's data was in line with expectations, so it's not surprising that markets haven't reacted too much," said Dan Hynes at ANZ in Sydney. Hynes said some measures of property investment had improved from August. "I suspect as (investors) do dig into the detail they are likely to be a little bit more positive."

FUNDAMENTALS

* LME COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was barely changed at $6,985 a tonne by 0342 GMT. In the previous session, it closed a tad softer just below the $7,000 mark, which could trigger a technical consolidation.

* SHFE COPPER: Shanghai Futures Exchange copper pared earlier losses to 54,700 yuan ($8,247) a tonne, still down 0.4 percent

* CHINA FACTORIES: China's industrial output rose 6.6 percent in September from a year ago, faster than expected, while fixed-asset investment expanded 7.5 percent in the first nine months of the year, missing forecasts, data showed on Thursday.

* PROPERTY: Property sales in China dropped for the first time in more than 2-1/2 years in September, and housing starts slowed sharply, reinforcing expectations that robust growth in the world's second-largest economy is starting to cool.

* U.S. ECONOMY: The U.S. economy expanded at a modest to moderate pace in September through early October despite the impact of hurricanes on some regions, the Federal Reserve said in its latest snapshot of the world's largest economy, but there were still few signs of an acceleration in inflation.

* EV DEMAND: In supportive news for nickel and copper, China's electric vehicle (EV) production could touch 1 million units next year and 3 million units by 2020, said Xu Heyi, chairman of carmaker BAIC Group, on Wednesday, likely exceeding a government-set target.

* COPPER DEMAND: Chile state copper commission Cochilco forecast on Wednesday an average global copper price of $2.95 per pound in 2018, a sharp upward revision from its mid-year estimate of $2.68, due to greater demand in China.

* LME lead sank 1.2 percent reflecting speculative liquidation due to slow end user demand with some battery makers having stocked up in September.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian stocks inched up to near decade highs on Thursday, continuing to ride on a global equities rally, while the dollar resumed its rise on the back of a spike in U.S. yields.

PRICES

0330 GMT

Three month LME copper 6983.5 Most active ShFE copper 54690 Three month LME 2124

aluminium

Most active ShFE 16160

aluminium

Three month LME zinc 3110 Most active ShFE zinc 25380 Three month LME lead 2493 Most active ShFE lead 19355 Three month LME nickel 11740 Most active ShFE nickel 94400 Three month LME tin 20095 Most active ShFE tin 144960 LME/SHFE COPPER LMESHFCUc3 544.02 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM LMESHFALc3 -220.5 LME/SHFE ZINC LMESHFZNc3 656.4 LME/SHFE LEAD LMESHFPBc3 -741.17 LME/SHFE NICKEL LMESHFNIc3 2258.81

($1 = 6.6328 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Tom Hogue)