METALS-Copper breaks $7,000/T mark on rosier China economy

* LME/ShFE arb: http://bit.ly/2wZSAEz (Updates throughout, changes dateline from MELBOURNE)

LONDON, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Copper prices broke through the $7,000 a tonne mark for the first time in three years on Monday as a number of pieces of economic data, including from top consumer China, fuelled optimism about demand.

London Metal Exchange copper jumped 2.9 percent to $7,079.50 by 1007 GMT, after touching an August 2014 high of $7,111.50 a tonne. Prices are up about 28 percent year to date, on track for the biggest annual gain since 2010.

"The price increase itself has ignited also yet another price rally based on expectations for higher prices," said Eugen Weinberg, head of commodities research at Commerzbank.

But he warned that prices could have over-reached and were due for a pullback.

"It's very difficult to time overheated situations such as these but we definitely expect prices to come back before another increase. The price is very speculatively driven in our opinion."

CHINA DATA: China's producer price inflation unexpectedly accelerated to a six-month high in September as a construction boom showed no signs of abating and a government crackdown on air pollution triggered fears of winter shortages.

CHINA COPPER: China's unwrought copper imports surged by 26.5 percent in September from a year ago, customs data showed on Friday, but remained on course for an annual drop in 2017.

CHINA ECONOMY: China's economy is expected to grow by 7 percent in the second half of this year, the country's central bank governor said, defying economists' expectations for a slowdown.

INVENTORIES: Stocks of copper in LME-approved warehouses edged up by 1,225 tonnes but fresh cancelled warrants - metal earmarked for delivery - slipped 3,950 tonnes to 210,475 tonnes.

DEMAND: Global steel demand is expected to grow by 7 percent year-on-year to reach 1.622 billion tonnes in 2017, driven by growth in China, the World Steel Association said on Monday.

Higher steel demand benefits base metals where their uses range from galvanising steel to corrosion resistance.

Copper's next major technical resistance into $7,150/$7,200, basis Nov 2014 highs, Marex Spectron's Alastair Munro said, adding that today's range was the widest since early September.

COPPER, ALUMINIUM: In a potential boost to U.S. copper and aluminium demand, the Trump administration is requiring the use of North American-made steel, aluminium, copper and plastic resins in cars and trucks sold under North American Free Trade Agreement rules.

INVESTORS: Hedge funds and money managers raised their net long positions in copper futures and options for the first time in five weeks, in the week to Oct. 10, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday.

THIS WEEK: Investors are keeping an eye on China's third-quarter gross domestic product number on Thursday for more confirmation of demand in metals.

(Addditional reporting by Melanie Burton in Melbourne)