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METALS- London metals mixed, China data supports

(Adds comment, detail, updates prices) MELBOURNE, Dec 14 (Reuters) - London metals turned mixed late in Asia on Thursday as a China rate rise took the shine off cheerier manufacturing reports from the country and Japan, with markets winding down ahead of the Christmas break. China's central bank on Thursday nudged up money market rates as authorities sought to defuse financial risks without imperiling the economy, a balancing act that it has managed successfully so far this year as activity remained broadly steady. The move came after the U.S. raised rates and after a number of improving manufacturing readings out of China and Japan. "It all continues to paint a relatively positive picture -- at least not as bearish as the market is concerned about," said analyst Daniel Hynes of ANZ in Sydney. "Coming into year-end, there has definitely been a bit of profit-taking and no-one's really willing to put fresh longs on the table at the minute."

FUNDAMENTALS

* COPPER: London Metal Exchange copper cut gains to trade steady at $6,723 a tonne by 0702 GMT, after gaining 1 percent in the previous session. It earlier hit the highest since Dec. 5 at $6,765 a tonne. Copper's chart picture has improved, having closed above the 100-day moving average at $6,690 which is now support.

* SHFE: Shanghai Futures Exchange copper cut gains to 0.2 percent at 52,320 yuan ($7,916) a tonne.

* NICKEL: LME nickel trimmed a near 2 percent gain, while zinc was flat, and lead slipped 0.5 percent paring back recent strength.

* CHINA ECONOMY: China's fixed-asset investment growth slowed to 7.2 percent in the January-November period, while industrial output expanded at a faster pace than markets had expected.

* USD: The dollar fell after the Fed did not raise its rate hike projections to four next year, despite signals of healthy economic growth, and instead flagged inflation concerns.

* ALUMINIUM: China's primary aluminum production fell for a fifth consecutive month in November, official data showed on Thursday, as the country's winter restrictions on smelters pushed output to its lowest since February 2015.

* JAPAN MANUFACTURING: Japanese manufacturing activity expanded at the fastest pace in almost four years in December.

* TIN: Shfe tin fell by 0.6 percent extending this week's fall to 3.5 percent, as open interest has surged towards 30,000 lots, a record high, suggesting a large short position has been opened.

MARKETS NEWS

* Asian stocks edged higher on Thursday after the Federal Reserve delivered a much-anticipated interest rate hike but flagged caution about inflation, tempering expectations for future tightening, which weighed on the dollar and Treasury yields.

DATA/EVENTS Coming Up: Euro zone Markit Mfg PMI flash Nov at 0900 GMT

BASE METALS PRICES 0552 GMT Three month LME copper 6719.5 Most active ShFE copper 52310 Three month LME aluminum 2020.5 Most active ShFE aluminum 14260 Three month LME zinc 3149 Most active ShFE zinc 25080 Three month LME lead 2512 Most active ShFE lead 19060 Three month LME nickel 11125 Most active ShFE nickel 89520 Three month LME tin 18855 Most active ShFE tin 134310

BASE METALS ARBITRAGE

LME/SHFE COPPER LMESHFCUc3 488.74 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM LMESHFALc3 -1250.

58

LME/SHFE ZINC LMESHFZNc3 387.19 LME/SHFE LEAD LMESHFPBc3 -1057.

69

LME/SHFE NICKEL LMESHFNIc3 2614.4

1

($1 = 6.6094 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)