LONDON, Dec 14 (Reuters) – Copper hit a near two-week high on Thursday on global growth hopes following upbeat manufacturing data from top metals consumer China, while a weaker dollar lent support. China’s industrial output expanded at a faster pace in November than markets had expected as growth in the world’s second-largest economy remained resilient, supported in part by a construction boom. The dollar held at more than one-week lows after the U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday raised rates as widely expected but kept its economic forecasts unchanged, disappointing investors. A weak dollar makes dollar-priced metals cheaper for non-U.S. investors. In a surprise move following on from the Fed, China’s central bank lifted money market rates on Thursday in a bid to defuse financial risks without damaging the economy, a balancing act it has managed successfully so far this year. “In a rising rate cycle, copper rallies because regardless of currency moves you’re talking about an improving economic outlook. Also, you still have (copper) supply risks in the headlines,” said Alastair Munro at broker Marex Spectron.  COPPER PRICE: London Metal Exchange copper traded up 0.5 percent in official midday rings at $6,760 a tonne, having hit the highest since Dec. 4 at $6,847. Copper’s chart picture has improved, having closed above the 100-day  moving average. ALUMINIUM: China’s primary aluminium production fell for a fifth consecutive month in November, official data showed, as the country’s winter restrictions on smelters pushed output to its lowest since February 2015. ALUMINIUM PRICE: Aluminium was last bid up 1.2 percent in rings at $2,033, the strongest gainer in the LME metals suite. JAPAN MANUFACTURING: Japanese manufacturing activity expanded at the fastest pace in almost four years in December. ALUMINIUM M&A: Liberty House, the UK-based industrial and commodities group, is considering a bid for Rio Tinto’s aluminium smelter in northern France, the largest in Europe. MARKETS: European shares and the euro dipped as cautious Fed comments on inflation gave investors reason to pause ahead of a series of central bank decisions in Europe. COPPER OUTPUT: Zambia’s 2017 copper output is expected to increase to 800,000-850,000 tonnes from 774,290 tonnes in the last year, mines minister Christopher Yaluma said.. TIN PRICE: Tin traded up 0.3 percent in rings at $18,850, having slid to a six-month low on Wednesday after breaking through key chart support. OTHER METALS: Zinc traded up 0.5 percent at $3,170, nickel traded up 0.7 percent at $11,170 and lead traded down 1.8 percent at $2,480. The battery metal recently hit six-year highs.

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