Australia shares may inch up, await Cyprus deal news
SYDNEY, March 25 (Reuters) - Australian shares may open firmer on Monday, supported by investors looking for value buys after last week's fall and a recovery in iron ore prices, but sentiment will be hesitant while markets wait to see if Cyprus can avert a banking crisis. * Local share price index futures rose 0.5 percent to 4,993, a 25.7-point premium to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index close. The benchmark inched up 0.2 percent on Friday, but fell 3 percent for the week. * New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index were nearly flat at 4,342.4 in early trade. * With Cyprus facing a Monday deadline to avert a collapse of its banking system, President Nicos Anastasiades is meeting with international lenders to try to craft a deal on a 10 billion euro ($13 billion) bailout after a first attempt collapsed last week. * U.S. stocks rose on Friday on optimism that a deal to bail out Cyprus would be reached, but ended lower for the week for just the second time this year. * Spot iron ore prices were steady on Friday, recovering from three-month lows hit last week, amid signals that buyers from top importer China are keen on rebuilding stockpiles. Copper rose, helped by bargain hunting and consumer buying in China. * Australia's Leighton Holdings Ltd has appointed board member Bob Humphris as its new chairman to replace Stephen Johns, who quit in a row with majority shareholder Hochtief . * Australia mall operator Westfield Group said on Monday it had reached an agreement with O'Connor Capital Partners on a joint venture investment in six Westfield regional malls in the U.S. state of Florida. ----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2154 GMT ------------ INSTRUMENT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1556.89 0.72% 11.090 USD/JPY 94.52 0.02% 0.020 10-YR US TSY YLD 1.9267 -- 0.000 SPOT GOLD 1607.79 0.00% 0.000 US CRUDE 93.71 0.00% 0.000 DOW JONES 14512.03 0.63% 90.54 ASIA ADRS 136.17 0.54% 0.73 ------------------------------------------------------------- * Wall St rises on Cyprus deal hopes, but dips for week * Oil gains, Brent premium to US crude narrowest since July * Gold down as Cyprus fears ease, notches weekly gain * Copper up on consumer buying, Cyprus bank 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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