METALS-London copper flat on China holidays, U.S. deadlock
* China markets begin Golden Week holidays
* Turnover extremely thin at less than 500 lots
* China official Sept PMI below expectations at 51.1
* Coming up: euro zone Markit manufacturing PMI at 0758 GMT
(Adds comment, detail; updates prices)
SINGAPORE, Oct 1 (Reuters) - London copper was barely changed on Tuesday after China factory data showed growth slowed more than expected in September and as a week-long holiday there got underway, while a funding deadlock in the United States kept traders on edge.
China's manufacturing growth edged up only slightly in September, with its official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) below expectations and adding to worries that its economic recovery has foundered.
"Chinese copper demand growth shrank in the first part of the year but now Chinese demand is stabilising ... statistics will look better in the second half of the year," said Matt Fusarelli, an analyst at consultancy AME Group in Sydney.
China is the world's top copper consumer, accounting for around 40 percent of refined demand this year.
AME Group has kept its fourth quarter copper price forecast unchanged at $7,050 a tonne.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange pared early losses to stand little changed at $7,301 a tonne by 0307 GMT from the previous session when it finished nearly flat.
Copper prices rose to their highest in 10 days on Monday at $7,330 a tonne, but have remained in a wider $7,000-$7,500 range since early August.
"SHFE is now closed and will not reopen until next week. In the meantime, technical considerations are likely to be the main market drivers here," broker Sucden said in a note.
"Generally, the technicals are looking fairly positive and so prices will probably lift marginally, albeit inside their well established ranges."
Turnover was extremely thin with less than 500 lots changing hands.
The U.S. Congress, still in partisan deadlock on Monday over Republican efforts to halt President Barack Obama's healthcare reforms, was on the verge of shutting down most of the U.S. government starting on Tuesday morning.
Still, there is a less than 10 percent chance that Washington's budget feud will lead to the United States defaulting on any of its debt, according to a majority of economists polled by Reuters since Friday.
Elsewhere, Newmont Mining Corp the biggest gold miner in the United States, has joined the race for Glencore Xstrata's copper mining project in Peru, the Financial Times reported.
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(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Joseph Radford)