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METALS-Copper edges higher on upturn in China property prices

* GRAPHIC-2017 asset returns: http://tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl

* LME/ShFE arb: http://bit.ly/2wZSAEz (Updates throughout, changes SYDNEY dateline)

LONDON, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Copper was steady on Monday, supported by falling inventories and a monthly upturn in China's property prices, with gains capped by a firmer dollar.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.1 percent to $6,781 by 1117 GMT, having marked its second weekly decline on Friday.

"Housing prices in China were a bit firmer, which is important in copper," said Capital Economics commodities analyst Caroline Bain, adding that construction accounts for about half of Chinese copper demand.

"I'm slightly wary because rising housing prices don't necessarily mean there is going to be a flurry of construction activity, particularly as credit condition are quite tight."

STOCKS: On-warrant LME inventories in approved warehouses dipped to the lowest level in more than two months at 147,799 tonnes. On-warrant stocks are those not earmarked for delivery and are available to the market. <MCUSTX-TOTAL>

CHINA PROPERTY: Prices for new homes in China rose at a slightly faster pace in October after gains had held steady the previous month.

Argonaut said in a report that China's underlying fundamentals in the property sector remain sound and that any commodity price rout during the weak winter season in China would be short term.

INVESTORS: Hedge funds and money managers' net long positions in copper futures in the week to Nov. 14 were cut to the lowest level since July, the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission said on Friday.

SHFE COPPER OPTIONS: The China Securities Regulatory Commission has approved an application from the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) to trade copper futures options, the official Shanghai Securities News reported on Sunday.

PHILIPPINES: Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has not lifted a ban on open pit mining, his spokesman said on Monday, despite calls for the ban's removal.

Nickel, a major mining export from the Philippines, was steady on the LME at $11,570 a tonne.

NICKEL DEMAND: Nickel prices had gained a boost from expectations of higher demand for use in electric vehicles but have moderated on concerns over high levels of available material.

PRICE: Aluminium fell 1 percent to $2,080.50 a tonne, lead was steady at $2,432.50, tin added 0.1 percent to $19,500 and zinc slipped by 0.6 percent to $3,159.50.

(Additional reporting by Melanie Burton in SYDNEY; Editing by David Goodman)