* Freeport expects to sign agreement with Jakarta to resume exports soon
* HSBC China flash PMI beats expectations at 52.0 in July
* Coming Up: U.S. Markit mfg PMI Flash Jul at 1345 GMT
(Adds comment, detail; updates prices)
SYDNEY, July 24 (Reuters) - London copper rallied to its highest in more than a week on Thursday after China's factory sector grew at the fastest clip in 18 months in July, shrugging off news that Indonesia may soon resume ore exports that could smooth out kinks in supply.
China is the world's biggest copper user, but slowing growth in manufacturing and property has dragged on the demand outlook for the metal while a surplus is expected to seep into the market in the second half of the year.
A raft of government stimulus helped to propel the HSBC/Markit Flash China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index to 52.0 in July from June's final reading of 50.7, beating a forecast of 51.0 in a Reuters poll.
Gains came as markets shrugged off a looming resumption in ore shipments from miners in major exporter Indonesia.
"Consensus was that they would probably resume exports this year. There just wasn't a lot of clarity over when," said analyst Joel Crane of Morgan Stanley in Melbourne.
Freeport-McMoRan Inc said on Wednesday it expects "imminently" to sign an agreement with Indonesia that would enable it to immediately resume copper concentrate exports which have been halted for more than six months.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange climbed as high as $7,112.50, its loftiest since July 16 before trading at $7,107.75 by 0310 GMT, up 0.9 percent after closing little changed in previous session.
The most-traded Shanghai copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose by 1.2 percent to 50,500 yuan ($8,200).
World No. 1 copper producer Codelco has admitted for the first time that its newest mine is behind schedule because of problems with its roaster. Sources said Codelco has had to cancel sales and buy raw material on the spot market.
In other metals, LME zinc prices edged to a fourth consecutive three-year top of $2,376.75 a tonne although upwards momentum appears to be fizzling.
Tempering the outlook for U.S growth, the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday said it expects the U.S. economy to grow 1.7 percent in 2014, even more slowly than it predicted a month ago, as weakness in the first quarter offsets an expected pick-up in the second half of the year.
Three month LME copper
Most active ShFE copper
Three month LME aluminum
Most active ShFE aluminum
Three month LME zinc
Most active ShFE zinc
Three month LME lead
Most active ShFE lead
Three month LME nickel
Three month LME tin ($1 = 6.1923 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Michael Perry and Tom Hogue)