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METALS-London copper steady, underpinned by China growth hopes

(Adds comment, detail, updates prices) MELBOURNE, Oct 23 (Reuters) - London copper pared early gains but traded steady on Monday after Chinese authorities reaffirmed that the country's economy was on track to achieve the official growth target even as its housing market slows. China's new home prices registered another month of weak growth in September, with the biggest markets slipping and vast numbers of smaller cities cooling off as government measures to cool a long property boom take hold. "Today's Chinese data started on a promising note with property price rises almost slowing to a standstill which was one of the objectives of the government to both calm inflation down and stop investors using property as a speculative product," broker Kingdom Futures said in a report. "That would come under the heading of so far so good but raises the question of where the investors will turn next and could they come back into the commodity markets."

* LME COPPER: London Metal Exchange copper erased early gains of half a percent to trade flat at $6,950 a tonne by 0703 GMT, after closing little changed in the previous session, when it posted its fourth straight weekly gain. LME copper prices reached $7,177 a tonne last week, the highest in three years, as manufacturing brightens in Asia, Europe and the United States.

* SHFE COPPER: Shanghai Futures Exchange copper slipped by 0.6 percent to 54,390 yuan ($8,199) a tonne.

* CHINA ECONOMY: China's economy is on track to meet its official growth target for 2017, the head of the state planning agency said on Saturday, despite a punishing war on pollution which is expected to slash industrial output over the winter months.

* U.S. ECONOMY: President Donald Trump's tax reform plans won partial support on Friday when Republican U.S. Senator Rand Paul said he was "all in" for massive tax cuts, but the party was still far from united over how to achieve the main item on its domestic agenda.

* RECYCLING: After years of dismantling discarded televisions and laptops, a Shanghai recycling plant is readying itself for a new wave of waste: piles of exhausted batteries from the surge of electric vehicles hitting China's streets.

* INVESTORS: Hedge funds and money managers reduced their net long position in COMEX copper contracts to a five-week high in the week to Oct. 17, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on Friday.

* ALUMINIUM: U.C. Rusal said that aluminium production rose 1.1 percent on the quarter to 931,000 tonnes in the third quarter.

* NICKEL: Nickel volumes surged in line with a rally in China steel. "The volumes so far on nickel have been decent and in a relatively tight range but given the rally we have seen in bulks the move higher has been somewhat muted so far," said broker Marex in a report.

PRICES

BASE METALS PRICES 0701 GMT Three month LME copper 6946 Most active ShFE copper 54390 Three month LME aluminium 2143 Most active ShFE aluminium 16235 Three month LME zinc 3115 Most active ShFE zinc 25430 Three month LME lead 2477.5 Most active ShFE lead 19290 Three month LME nickel 11785 Most active ShFE nickel 94780 Three month LME tin 19620 Most active ShFE tin 144750

BASE METALS ARBITRAGE

LME/SHFE COPPER LMESHFCUc3 546.41 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM LMESHFALc3 -324.72 LME/SHFE ZINC LMESHFZNc3 678.25 LME/SHFE LEAD LMESHFPBc3 -684.94 LME/SHFE NICKEL LMESHFNIc3 2639.73

($1 = 6.6310 Chinese yuan)

($1 = 6.6340 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Vyas Mohan)