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METALS-London metal prices flat, global manufacturing growth supports

MELBOURNE, Feb 1 (Reuters) - London copper traded flat on Thursday, supported by optimism over the outlook for global manufacturing but pressured by expectations that demand could tail off ahead of the Lunar New Year in mid-February.

FUNDAMENTALS

* LONDON COPPER: London Metal Exchange copper was trading little changed at $7,122 a tonne by 0149 GMT, after losses in the previous session.

* SHANGHAI COPPER: Shanghai Futures Exchange copper edged down 0.1 percent to 53,070 yuan ($8,439.89) a tonne.

* CHINA DEMAND: Growth in China's manufacturing sector remained elevated in January, a private business survey showed on Thursday, as new business led factories to raise output at the start of the year. The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) was steady in January at 51.5, matching December's reading, which was the highest in four months and above the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction.

* JAPAN DEMAND: Japanese manufacturing activity expanded at the fastest pace in almost four years in January, a survey showed on Thursday, with solid output and employment growth supporting a firm recovery in the world's third-largest economy.

* NICKEL: Nickel slipped 0.6 percent after it had managed to claw back nearly 2 percent on Tuesday in volatile trade over the past few weeks as traders trim positions ahead of the Lunar New Year, and amid fluctuations in its key demand source, China's steel markets.

* COPPER SUPPLY: Chile produced slightly less copper in 2017 than it did the year before, the government said on Wednesday, as output was dogged by a prolonged strike at BHP's Escondida copper mine, the world's largest, early in the year.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian shares eked out modest gains on Thursday, pushing back sharp losses from earlier this week.

DATA/EVENTS 0145 China Caixin manufacturing PMI final Jan 0850 France Markit manufacturing PMI Jan 0855 Germany Markit/BME manufacturing PMI Jan 0900 Euro zone Markit manufacturing PMI final Jan 1330 U.S. Weekly jobless claims 1500 U.S. ISM manufacturing PMI Jan 1500 U.S. Construction spending Dec PRICES

BASE METALS PRICES 0136 GMT Three month LME copper 7128 Most active ShFE copper 53180 Three month LME aluminum 2211.5 Most active ShFE 14325

aluminum

Three month LME zinc 3526.5 Most active ShFE zinc 26730 Three month LME lead 2634 Most active ShFE lead 19480 Three month LME nickel 13515 Most active ShFE nickel 102390 Three month LME tin 21635 Most active ShFE tin 149340

BASE METALS ARBITRAGE

LME/SHFE COPPER LMESHFCUc3 893.51 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM LMESHFALc3 -1847.3 LME/SHFE ZINC LMESHFZNc3 429.57 LME/SHFE LEAD LMESHFPBc3 -521.06 LME/SHFE NICKEL LMESHFNIc3 1763.87

($1 = 6.2880 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Joseph Radford)