METALS-Copper up on growth optimism, U.S. economy perks up
* China factory PMI shows mild rebound
* Euro zone factory PMI suggests worst may be over
* Coming up: U.S. non-farm payrolls for Jan at 1330 GMT
(Updates with closing prices)
LONDON, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Copper rose on Friday as confidence in the outlook for global growth gathered pace, with U.S manufacturing and employment data showing recovery in the world's largest economy is on track.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange closed at $8,290 a tonne, up from a close of $8,165 on Thursday when it touched a 3-1/2 month intraday high at $8,291.25 a tonne.
A move towards risk assets this week was supported by signs that Europe's banking sector was turning a corner while consumer confidence and spending has grown there and in the United States.
U.S. employment grew modestly in January and gains in the prior two months were bigger than initially reported. Other data showed factory activity hit a nine-month high in January on strong new order growth.
In the euro zone, factories had their best month in nearly a year during January as burgeoning German output offered support amid signs the worst may be over for the troubled currency bloc, a survey showed.
"The impression is that things are improving slowly on the macroeconomic front. The data seems to be moving in the right direction and we have had more positive surprises than negative surprises," said Robin Bhar, analyst at Societe Generale.
"The key aspect that people will be watching is whether this translates into real physical demand for metals."
Copper, used in power and construction, gained nearly 3 percent in January.
Helping gains in metals prices was a rise in the euro to a 14-month high against the dollar, as a weak dollar makes commodities priced in the U.S. unit cheaper for holders of other currencies.
Keeping gains in check, however, was data showing China's giant manufacturing sector extended its mild recovery in January with weak foreign demand still crimping growth, underscoring that a rebound from its worst downturn in 13 years remains modest.
Chinese buying of copper has remained subdued ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday. China's markets will be closed from Feb. 11 to Feb. 15. China accounts for 40 percent of refined copper consumption.
"Chinese data should get stronger into the second quarter. Global indicators are improving, so it makes sense to a certain extent that speculators are taking another look at copper," said analyst Bonnie Liu of Macquarie in Singapore.
Industry sources said Chinese copper smelters could start looking for more raw material concentrate in international spot markets from the second quarter of the year as term shipments drop and a large smelting facility comes back online.
Soldering metal tin closed at $24,900 from Thursday's close of $24,750, while battery material lead ended at $2,451 from $2,431 a tonne.
Aluminium closed at $2,118 from $2,090 a tonne, nickel at $18,625 from $18,350 and zinc at $2,175 from a last bid of $2,145.
(Additional reporting by Melanie Burton in Singapore; editing by William Hardy and James Jukwey)