METALS-Copper firm on upbeat Chinese data but heads for monthly drop

* Growth in China manufacturing picks up in November

* Copper set to end November down nearly 1 pct

* Nickel this month's biggest faller, down 8 pct

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

LONDON, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Copper rose on Thursday on the back of upbeat manufacturing data from China, but stayed on track to fall this month on concerns of slowing demand from the world's largest metals consumer.

Growth in China's manufacturing sector unexpectedly picked up in November despite a crackdown on air pollution and a cooling property market, the official Purchasing Managers' Index showed.

"We've had some slightly more encouraging data out of China," Danske Bank analyst Jens Pedersen said. "The official PMIs came out overnight slightly higher than consensus, so the market has taken that very well."

"There has been some uncertainty over whether growth in China would hold up or not, so that is why the market is trading on these key figures," he said.

Nickel has been the biggest faller among industrial metals so far this month, slipping nearly 8 percent to retrace some of October's hefty gains as traders bet that a rally based on hopes for rising electric vehicle demand had become overstretched.

* COPPER: Three-month London Metal Exchange copper was up 0.6 percent at $6,798.50 a tonne at 1110 GMT, but has fallen 0.6 percent so far in November.

* LME STOCKS: Copper stocks held in LME warehouses fell another 3,200 tonnes, data showed on Thursday, taking them to their lowest since July 2016 at 188,525 tonnes.

* COPPER TECHNICALS: LME copper is testing resistance at $6,792 after stabilizing around a support zone of $6,713-$6,737 a tonne, Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao said. A break above here could spark a rise to $6,847.

* STRIKES: Workers at Southern Copper Corp in Peru said they completed a ninth day of a strike on Wednesday. A union at Teck Resources' Quebrada Blanca copper mine rejected a contract offer from the Canadian miner, increasing the likelihood of a strike.

* NICKEL: LME nickel was down 1.8 percent at $11,310 a tonne.

* ALUMINIUM: LME aluminum was down 0.5 percent at $2,058 per tonne, having earlier hit a 3-1/2 month low at $2,039 a tonne. It is down 4.7 percent so far in November, its biggest monthly loss since May last year, but is still on track for its biggest annual rally since 2009.

* OTHER METALS: LME zinc was up 0.5 percent at $3,173.50 a tonne, while lead was up 1.4 percent at $2,469 a tonne. In November zinc has fallen 2.8 percent while lead is 2.3 percent higher. LME tin is down 0.1 percent at $19,500 a tonne, but has risen 0.6 percent so far this month.

(Additional reporting by Melanie Burton in Melbourne, editing by David Evans)