METALS-Copper steadies on U.S. data, capped by sluggish growth elsewhere
* U.S. housing, jobs data bolsters economic outlook
* Aluminium spreads relax as stock returns to market
* Global refined copper market in 69,000 T deficit in May -ICSG
* Chinese refined copper imports fall 16 pct in July (Adds U.S. jobless claims, updates prices)
By Eric Onstad and Susan Thomas
LONDON, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Copper steadied on Thursday after U.S. data signalled a strengthening economy, but sluggish growth elsewhere in the world kept the metal under pressure.
While the U.S. manufacturing sector expanded in August, business growth in China and across Europe slowed, surveys showed on Thursday, providing more evidence that the world economy is stuttering and may need more monetary stimulus to keep it going.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange closed at $7,017 a tonne from $7,010 at the close on Wednesday when it jumped 2.1 percent.
"Given the extent of the PMI miss, we think the selling will likely gather steam over the balance of the week," INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir at wrote in a research note. Continued...