METALS-London copper steady in thin trade due to China holidays
* China markets begin Golden Week holidays
* Copper turnover around one-third of typical levels
* China official Sept PMI below expectations at 51.1
SINGAPORE, Oct 1 (Reuters) - London copper was steady on Tuesday even though China factory data showed growth slowed more than expected in September and as a week-long holiday there got underway, while the U.S. government began a partial shutdown after a funding deadlock.
Copper prices are tilting towards the higher end of their recent range, running on improving technical outlooks, traders said, but the absence of top consumer China suggests any advance is unlikely to find much traction in the short term.
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.
Still, some analysts said the outlook for Chinese copper demand was better now than before. China is the world's top copper consumer, accounting for around 40 percent of refined demand this year.
"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.
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 at $7,315 a tonne by 0718 GMT, up 0.18 percent 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 copper trading around one-third of typical levels, while overall volume was around 7,000 lots.
The U.S. government began a partial shutdown on Tuesday for the first time in 17 years, potentially putting up to 1 million workers on unpaid leave, closing national parks and stalling medical research projects.
Still, there is a less than a 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, The Mongolian government is confident it can resolve disputes with Rio Tinto over a $5 billion expansion of the Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine by Dec. 31, the deadline for sealing financing for the project, an official said on Tuesday.
Three month LME copper
Most active ShFE copper
Three month LME aluminium
Most active ShFE aluminium
Three month LME zinc
Most active ShFE zinc
Three month LME lead
Most active ShFE lead
Three month LME nickel
Three month LME tin
(Editing by Joseph Radford and Muralikumar Anantharaman)