(corrects to make clear price closed up in para 4) * GRAPHIC-2019 asset returns: tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl * China data boosts metals sentiment By Zandi Shabalala LONDON, April 17 (Reuters) – Copper prices hit a nine-month high on Wednesday as firmer-than-expected economic growth figures from China boosted expectations for higher demand in the world’s top metals consumer. China’s economy grew at a 6.4 percent pace in the first quarter from a year earlier, defying expectations for a further slowdown, as industrial production jumped sharply and consumer demand showed signs of improvement. “The data is confirmation that there are clear tailwinds to Chinese growth into the second quarter and mid-year,” said Deutsche Bank metal strategist Nick Snowdon. Benchmark copper touched its highest since July 3 at $6,608.50