Australia shares seen opening flat ahead of RBA meeting
SYDNEY, June 4
SYDNEY, June 4 (Reuters) - Australian shares are seen opening flat on Tuesday after Wall Street gained overnight but weak China data may offset positive sentiment ahead of the Reserve Bank's policy meeting later in the day.
* Local share price index futures were flat, a 5.3-point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index close. The benchmark fell 0.8 percent to its lowest close in four months on Monday.
* New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index was flat in early trade.
* U.S. stocks rose on Monday as weaker-than-expected factory activity supported views the Federal Reserve will keep economic stimulus in place, while gains in Merck & Co lifted drug companies.
* China's factory activity shrank for the first time in seven months in May as both domestic and external demand softened, while growth in the services sector cooled, pointing to slowing momentum in the world's second-largest economy.
* Copper climbed on Monday to a more than one-week high on news one of the world's biggest mines may shut for longer than expected, but gains were capped by weak U.S. manufacturing numbers and data showing China's economy was losing momentum.
* Gold jumped nearly 2 percent on Monday, hitting its highest in more than two weeks, boosted by a tumbling dollar and disappointing U.S. manufacturing data.
* The Reserve Bank of Australia holds its monthly policy meeting later on Tuesday and has been expected to keep rates at 2.75 percent following a quarter-point cut in May.
Markets are still only pricing in a minor 16 percent chance of a move today with the decision due at 1630 GMT.
----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2250 GMT ------------
INSTRUMENT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1640.42 0.59% 9.680 USD/JPY 99.49 -0.02% -0.020 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.1283 -- 0.000 SPOT GOLD 1412.39 0.09% 1.290 US CRUDE 93.28 -0.18% -0.170 DOW JONES 15254.03 0.92% 138.46 ASIA ADRS 135.56 -0.20% -0.27 -------------------------------------------------------------
* Wall St ends up on Fed stimulus views, Merck gains * Oil prices rise as weak U.S. data sinks dollar, N.Sea outage * Gold up 2 percent on dollar slide, weak U.S. data * Copper hits one
For a digest of the day's business stories in Australian newspapers, double click on
(Australia/New Zealand bureaux; +61 2 9373 1800/+64 4 471 4234)
(Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Stephen Coates)
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