SINGAPORE, March 1 (Reuters) - London copper was little changed early on Thursday in Asia as investors digested data showing top copper consumer China's manufacturing sector grew faster than forecast in February.
* Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was nearly flat at $8,500.25 a tonne by 0114 GMT, after falling more than 1 percent on Wednesday.
* China's official purchasing managers' index rose to 51 in February from 50.5 in January, the National Bureau of Statistics said, above market expectations of 50.7. PMI readings above 50 signal factory expansion while those below 50 point to contraction.
* Comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke that the U.S. economy needs to strengthen to further cut the still high jobless rate and the absence of indications of more Fed bond purchases fuelled a scramble out of risk assets on Wednesday, including copper.
* That countered the positive impact from the half a trillion euros in additional liquidity the European Central Bank injected into the financial system to help fight a nagging debt crisis.
* The most-traded May copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 1.2 percent to 60,350 yuan ($9,600) a tonne, chasing losses in London in the previous session.
* A stoppage at Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.'s Grasberg mine in Indonesia could be resolved within days, with talks between workers and management progressing well, a union official said.
* Glencore has agreed to buy zinc concentrates from Peruvian miner Volcan without charging for processing, taking the view that it will be able to more than recoup the charges by profiting from rises in zinc prices, industry sources said.
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* The euro and commodity currencies nursed heavy losses in Asia on Thursday as investors cut bullish positions after key events, including the European Central Bank's cash injection, passed without surprise.
* U.S. stocks snapped a four-day winning streak after comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke disappointed investors hoping for a strong signal of more stimulus.
* U.S. crude futures were steady on Thursday after gaining half a percent the previous day, spurred by data showing a modest expansion in the U.S. economy that raised hopes for oil demand in the world's top oil consumer.
0858 EZ Markit Mfg PMI Feb
1000 EZ Inflation, flash yy Feb
1330 U.S. Initial jobless claims Weekly
1500 U.S. Construction spending February
Base metals prices at 0114 GMT Metal Last Change Pct Move YTD pct chg LME Cu 8500.25 1.25 +0.01 11.85 SHFE CU FUT MAY2 60350 -720 -1.18 9.01 HG COPPER MAR2 386.35 -0.75 -0.18 12.44 LME Alum 2323.00 -7.00 -0.30 15.00 SHFE AL FUT MAY2 16195 -55 -0.34 2.21 LME Zinc 2098.00 -14.00 -0.66 13.71 SHFE ZN FUT MAY2 15965 -175 -1.08 7.91 LME Nickel 19650.00 395.00 +2.05 5.02 LME Lead 2182.00 22.00 +1.02 7.22 SHFE PB FUT 16135.00 -180.00 -1.10 5.56 LME Tin 23625.00 0.00 +0.00 23.05 LME/Shanghai arb^ 2241
Shanghai and COMEX contracts show most active months
^ LME 3-month copper in yuan, including 17 pct VAT, minus SHFE third month
($1=6.2936 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)