Australia shares seen firmer as U.S. data cheers

Sun Feb 3, 2013 5:30pm EST

MELBOURNE, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Australian shares are likely to
firm on Monday, following the lead of Wall Street which hit a
five-year high in the previous session after strong economic
data buoyed sentiment.
    
    * Stock index futures rose 24 points to 4,903.0, a
18.1-point discount to the close of the underlying S&P/ASX 200
index. The benchmark index rose 0.9 percent on Friday,
hitting its highest since April 2011.
    * New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 0.2
percent to 4,255.6 in early trade.
    * U.S. stocks rose to five-year highs on Friday, with the
Dow closing above 14,000 for the first time since October
2007, after jobs and manufacturing data showed the economy's
recovery remains on track.
    * Copper also rose on Friday as confidence in the outlook
for global growth gathered pace. 
    * Iron Ore Holdings may come under pressure after
the firm reached agreement with Fortescue Metals Group 
on the early termination of Fortescue's exclusive option on Iron
Valley, to develop an integrated mine.
    * Investors will keep an eye on two major coal producers,
Rio Tinto and Xstrata, forced to declare force
majeure on exports after a rail haul line was shut due to heavy
rains and flooding in eastern Queensland state. 

                                                                  
 ----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2215 GMT ------------
                     INSTRUMENT   LAST       PCT CHG   NET CHG
 S&P 500                          1513.17      1.01%    15.060
 USD/JPY                          92.8         0.09%     0.080
 10-YR US TSY YLD                 2.0248          --     0.000
 SPOT GOLD                        1666.99      0.03%     0.450
 US CRUDE                         97.77        0.29%     0.280
 DOW JONES                        14009.79     1.08%    149.21
 ASIA ADRS                        136.94       0.87%      1.18
 -------------------------------------------------------------    
 
     
  * Wall St surges to 5-year highs                         
  * Oil-Brent crude jumps, premium over U.S. crude widens 
  * Gold lifted by US payrolls data, posts weekly gain    
  * Copper up on growth optimism, U.S. economy perks up  
    
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newspapers, double click on    
        
 (Australia/New Zealand bureaux; +61 2 9373 1800/+64 4 471 
4234)
        

 (Reporting by Victoria Thieberger; Editing by Lincoln Feast)