Australia shares seen up, investors wait for Greece deal

Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:12pm EST

CANBERRA, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Australian shares are set for a
firmer start on Thursday with sentiment helped by the
declaration of a ceasefire on the Gaza strip, but the failure of
policymakers to reach a deal on emergency aid for Greece will
keep optimism in check. 

    * Local share price index futures rose 0.6 percent
to 4,406, a 36.5-point premium to the underlying S&P/ASX 200
index. The benchmark fell 0.4 percent on Wednesday.
    * New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index edged up 0.3
percent to 3,985.0 in early trade.
    * Shares in Fisher & Paykel Healthcare rose to a
13-month high of NZ$2.60 after the maker of devices to treat
respiratory problems and sleep disorders reported
better-than-expected half-year earnings and raised its full-year
profit forecast. 
    * U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 up for a
fourth session, although trading volume was one of the year's
lowest on the day ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. 
    * Copper fell for a second day as investors across financial
markets worried about the failure of policymakers in Europe to
reach a deal to release emergency aid to Greece, although there
were assurances a deal was close.
    * Oil ended higher as late-day short-covering ahead of a
U.S. holiday offset earlier relief over a ceasefire that ended
eight days of fighting in the Gaza strip.
    * The HSBC Flash China PMI will give an indication of
Chinese manufacturing activity in November, as hopes grow that
the economy of Australia's biggest export market has bottomed
and may be improving.
    * Food company Goodman Fielder and top supermarket
chain Woolworths Ltd will hold their annual general
meetings on Thursday. 
    * Copper miner Discovery Metals Ltd will respond
officially to the A$824 million offer from China's Cathay
Fortune Corp around Nov 23. The suitor has gone hostile after
the miner's board rejected a similar offer in October.      
----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2118 GMT ------------
                    INSTRUMENT   LAST       PCT CHG   NET CHG
S&P 500                   1391.03      0.23%     3.220
USD/JPY                   82.53        1.07%     0.870
10-YR US TSY YLD     1.6813          --     0.014
SPOT GOLD                 1728.5       0.03%     0.460
US CRUDE                  87.66        1.05%     0.910
DOW JONES                 12836.89     0.38%     48.38
ASIA ADRS                120.25       0.41%      0.49
-------------------------------------------------------------   
                                                         
        
  * Wall St gains after Gaza truce in light holiday trade   
  * Oil ends up as pre-holiday covering offsets Gaza truce 
  * Gold flat as Greek aid stalling, MidEast truce eyed   
  * Copper drops after delay in Greek aid deal           
    
    For a digest of the day's business stories in Australian 
newspapers, double click on    

 (Reporting By Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by John Mair)
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