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Copper edges higher on Chile mine strike, eyes Fed meet

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BEIJING, June 18 (Reuters) - London copper prices moved higher for a second day in early Asian trade on Tuesday as a key mine in Chile halved output due to a strike, while investors waited for news from the U.S. Federal Reserve's interest rate meeting.

Lower interest rates tend to push commodity prices higher as they mean lower inventory financing costs, but analysts say the Fed is unlikely to cut rates this week.

FUNDAMENTALS

* COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.1% at $5,850 a tonne as of 0142 GMT, after ending up 0.4% in the previous session. The most-traded August copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 0.5% to 46,390 yuan ($6,699.21) a tonne.

* COPPER: Chile's Codelco said on Monday that its Chuquicamata copper mine, one of the world's largest, had maintained output at 50% of capacity as it faced its fourth full day of a union strike.

* CHINA: China's refined copper output fell by 5.2% year-on-year and 3.9% month-on-month to 711,000 tonnes in May, data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Monday showed.

* GLENCORE: Zambia's Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) has shut down its Mufulira smelter for major refurbishment, the Glencore-owned company said on Monday.

* OTHER METALS: Aluminium and tin also inched up 0.1% in London, while nickel rose 0.2%. Zinc fell 0.3% and sister metal lead slipped 0.2%.

* ALUMINIUM: Bosnia's aluminium smelter Aluminij Mostar is seeking a strategic partner to avoid bankruptcy and a consortium led by London-listed miner and Glencore has shown interest, its general manager said.

* For the top stories in metals and other news, click or MARKET NEWS

* Investor caution ahead of the Federal Reserve's interest rate meeting capped Asian stocks, while crude oil prices retreated as global growth worries overshadowed supply concerns stemming from recent Middle East tensions.

(Reporting by Tom Daly; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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