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METALS-Copper prices ease ahead of U.S. Fed outlook

(Updates prices) SYDNEY, June 14 (Reuters) - Copper prices eased on Wednesday, with investors cautious ahead of the outcome of a two-day meeting where the U.S Federal Reserve is expected to hike interest rates and give clues on its policy outlook for the rest of the year. The U.S. central bank is scheduled to release its interest rate decision at 1800 GMT on Wednesday at the conclusion of its policy meeting. Fed Chair Janet Yellen is due to hold a press conference at 1830 GMT. The timing and pace of further U.S. tightening could set the course for base metal prices in coming months, according to analysts.

FUNDAMENTALS

* LONDON COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal

Exchange was down $1 at $5,716 a tonne, by 0740 GMT,

extending losses from the previous session.

* SHANGHAI COPPER: The most-traded copper contract on the

Shanghai Futures Exchange closed 0.24 percent lower at

45,960 yuan ($6,761) a tonne.

* ELECTRIC CARS: The growing number of electric vehicles hitting roads is set to fuel a nine-fold increase in copper demand from the sector over the coming decade, according to an industry report.

* China's aluminum production rose 4.2 percent year-on-year in May to hit its second-highest level on record, while non-ferrous metal output rose 2.4 percent to 4.58 million tonnes data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Wednesday.

* QATAR: Qatar's Qatalum aluminum plant is now exporting metals via ports in Kuwait and Oman, as well as a Qatari container port, following a diplomatic row with neighbors that had blocked shipments.

NICKEL: LME nickel rebounded by 2 percent to $8,860

a tonne, recouping overnight losses.

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PRICES Three month LME copper Most active ShFE copper Three month LME aluminum Most active ShFE aluminum 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 = 6.7976 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Joseph Radford and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)