METALS-LME copper steadies in low volumes, ECB in focus

* Tin steadies from 7-month lows

* Aluminium market shows stress from lack of spot supply

* Coming up: euro zone economic sentiment Aug at 0900 GMT

(Adds detail; updates prices)

SYDNEY, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Copper steadied in low trade volumes on Thursday as markets awaited fresh signals on whether the European Central Bank would act to shore up a faltering economy that could drag on world growth and metals demand.

The European Central Bank is unlikely to take new policy action next week unless August inflation figures, due Friday, show the euro zone sinking significantly towards deflation, ECB sources said.

Looser policy from the euro zone central bank would free up capital for industry and for metals investment, providing a lift to prices.

Copper may run as high as $7,400-$7,500 a tonne next month, as demand incrementally outstrips stocks that have been drawn down given a timelag in processing new mine supply, said analyst Dominic Schnider at UBS in Singapore.

"In the short run we still have a positive growth story on our side. China is holding ground, we do expect Europe to come up a little bit, U.S. growth accelerates," Schnider said.

"But into 2015 we have a decently supplied market. That's still there, with 200,000-400,000 tonnes of surplus," he said, adding that copper is targeting $6,500 in 12 months.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange had steadied at $7,032.50 a tonne by 0714 GMT, after small losses in the previous session.

The most-traded October copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange eased 0.4 percent to 50,250 yuan($8,180) a tonne.

China's industrial profits grew 13.5 percent in July compared to a year ago, slowing from June's 17.9 percent annual rise, data showed on Thursday.

Shoring up growth, China will maintain its "targeted" policy stance to keep economic growth on track, focusing on investment projects in bottleneck areas, the cabinet said on Wednesday.

Indonesia wants copper miners Newmont Mining Corp and Freeport-McMoRan Inc to hammer out a deal on concentrate supply for an upcoming smelter before allowing Newmont to resume exports, a mining ministry official said on Wednesday.

LME tin steadied after falling to a 7-month low of $21,650 a tonne on Wednesday as supply from Indonesia overwhelms demand from a struggling electronics industry.

Cash aluminium traded at parity against the benchmark contract on Wednesday's close for the first time since Dec 2012, reflecting a market distressed by a shortfall in immediate supply as global demand revives.

Russia's United Company Rusal Plc returned to profit for the first time in five quarters on Wednesday and gave a bullish outlook for aluminium prices, driven by growing demand from carmakers and supply cuts outside China.

Meanwhile, a unit of China's Shanxi Coal International has fired off a volley of new lawsuits over a metals financing fraud at China's Qingdao port, adding around $137 million in claims.


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

(1 US dollar = 6.1430 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Richard Pullin and Joseph Radford)