(Adds comment, detail, and updates prices)
By Melanie Burton
MELBOURNE, Aug 31 (Reuters) - London copper led industrial metals higher in Asia on Thursday, setting the scene for a third straight monthly gain after healthy growth at China’s factories in August fed expectations of stronger global metals demand.
Growth in China’s manufacturing sector unexpectedly accelerated in August, suggesting the world’s second-largest economy is still expanding at a healthy clip despite rising financing costs and a cooling housing market.
“Overall, our reading of PMI is that China’s underlying economy development is resilient. Supply side reform and government policy supports to private enterprises are having a positive impact on overall economy,” said broker Argonaut Securities of Hong Kong in a report.
“We think this positive development in China’s economy is a tailwind for commodity demand, which should not be underestimated any more.”
* LME COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.6 percent at $6,807 a tonne, as of 0724 GMT, reversing minor losses from the previous session. Earlier this week, copper struck its highest since September 2014 at $6,843.50, and was set to log gains of near 7 percent for August, climbing for the third month in a row.
* SHFE COPPER: Shanghai Futures Exchange copper reversed early losses to trade up 0.2 percent at 52,820 yuan ($8,010) a tonne.
* Broker Jefferies has raised its copper price forecast on expectations of “significant positive impact of electric vehicles”. It sees EV copper demand at 2.08 million tonnes by 2035 from 80,000 tonnes this year, driving prices to $3.25 a pound from 2018, while an extended period above $4.0 a pound is “increasingly likely.”
* CHINA WEALTH: As regulatory crackdowns in China hit risky investment products and capital outflows, the country’s private banks are looking to profit as they target a bigger share of growing wealth in the world’s second-largest economy.
* U.S. ECONOMY: The U.S. economy grew faster than initially thought in the second quarter, notching its quickest pace in more than two years, and there are signs that the momentum was sustained at the start of the third quarter.
* GLENCORE COPPER: Zambian electricity utility Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) and Glencore’s Mopani Copper Mines have reached an agreement to restore full power supply to the mine from Wednesday, the president’s office said on Wednesday.
* MARKETS: Investors discovered a taste for the dollar and commodities on Thursday as upbeat Chinese and U.S. economic news whetted appetite for riskier assets globally, even as tensions over North Korea simmered in the background.
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
Most active ShFE nickel
Three month LME tin
Most active ShFE tin
ARBS ($1 = 6.5940 Chinese yuan)
Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Richard Pullin and Sherry Jacob-Phillips