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METALS-Base metal prices fall ahead of Fed rates decision

BEIJING, June 13 (Reuters) - Base metals prices mostly fell in early trade on Wednesday, led by Shanghai aluminium, which sank to a six-week low, as investors awaited news from the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy meeting, at which it is expected to raise interest rates. Higher interest rates usually strengthen the dollar, making dollar-denominated metals more expensive for holders of other currencies weighing on prices. 1/2nL4N1TE5EY 3/8

FUNDAMENTALS

* SHFE ALUMINIUM: The most-traded August aluminium contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was down 1.4 percent at 14,675 yuan ($2,291) a tonne, as of 0157 GMT, having earlier touched 14,570 yuan a tonne its lowest since May 2.

* COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.4 percent to $7,197 a tonne, trading lower for a fourth straight session, while Shanghai copper shed 0.6 percent to 53,670 yuan a tonne.

* DRC: Democratic Republic of Congo state miner Gécamines will drop legal proceedings to dissolve a copper and cobalt joint venture with a subsidiary of Glencore Plc after reaching a settlement with its partner that includes Gécamines getting a $150 million payment. 1/2nL1N1TE1YC 3/8

* PERU: Southern Copper Corp said on Tuesday that it plans to start building its proposed $2.5 billion copper mine Michiquillay in Peru next year and will likely start operations in 2022 - three years earlier than previously forecast.

* INSIGHT: After an Indian state shut a copper smelter run by Vedanta Resources following deadly protests, the company faces another challenge 1,000 miles away, where axe-toting tribesmen and environmentalists have joined forces to demand the closure of an alumina refinery.

* ALUMINA: A court in the Brazilian state of Para denied a bid by Norsk Hydro ASA to appeal the partial suspension of bauxite refining operations at its Alunorte unit in another blow to the world's largest alumina refinery.

* LITHIUM: Miners are pushing to sharply boost lithium output in the United States, as automakers in the world's third biggest electric vehicle market are eager to cut their dependence on China for the critical battery ingredient and find more local sources.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian shares edged slightly lower on Wednesday as investors looked to the Federal Reserve policy decision and any clues it might give on future rate hikes, shifting focus away from the historic U.S.-North Korea summit in Singapore.

PRICES

BASE METALS PRICES 0215 GMT Three month LME copper 7197 Most active ShFE copper 53670 Three month LME aluminium 2289 Most active ShFE aluminium 14690 Three month LME zinc 3183 Most active ShFE zinc 24275 Three month LME lead 2477 Most active ShFE lead 20465 Three month LME nickel 15250 Most active ShFE nickel 114910 Three month LME tin 20910 Most active ShFE tin 150650

BASE METALS ARBITRAGE

LME/SHFE COPPER LMESHFCUc3 -38.2 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM LMESHFALc3 -2351.84 LME/SHFE ZINC LMESHFZNc3 103.57 LME/SHFE LEAD LMESHFPBc3 630.44 LME/SHFE NICKEL LMESHFNIc3 -739.09

($1 = 6.4057 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Tom Daly; editing by Richard Pullin)