SYDNEY, June 14 (Reuters) - Copper prices eased in early Asian trading, 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.
* LONDON COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange had slipped $4 to $5,713 a tonne by 0100 GMT, extending losses from the previous session.
* SHANGHAI COPPER: The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange opened down 0.69 percent at 45,750 yuan ($6,730) a tonne.
* CHINA DATA: Data on Chinese retail sales, industrial growth and urban investment is due on Wednesday, with consensus forecasts weaker for all three.
* PERU: Grupo Mexico SAB de CV will double its metals smelting capacity in Peru because environmental regulations have been loosened, said Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.
* 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.
* COPPER STOCKS: Traders were watching stock movements in LME approved warehouses, which rose 2,700 tonnes to 279,575 tonnes, but overall inventories are still down more than 20 percent since May 4. MCUSTX-TOTAL
* QATAR: Qatar’s Qatalum aluminium plant is now exporting metals via ports in Kuwait and Oman, as well as a Qatari container port, following a diplomatic row with neighbours that had blocked shipments.
NICKEL: LME nickel rebounded by 1 percent to $8,780 a tonne, recouping overnight losses.
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* Asian shares crept higher on Wednesday after Wall Street notched another all-time high, while the dollar and bonds awaited clarity on the Fed’s future path for U.S. policy after a likely rate rise later in the day.
DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT) 0200 China Retail sales May 0200 China Industrial output May 0200 China Urban investment May 0600 Germany Consumer prices final May 0900 Euro zone Employment Q1 0900 Euro zone Industrial production Apr 1230 U.S. Consumer prices May 1230 U.S. Retail sales May 1400 U.S. Business inventories Apr 1800 Federal Reserve announces policy meeting outcome 1830 Fed Chair Janet Yellen holds news conference
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 = 6.7981 Chinese yuan renminbi)
Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Joseph Radford