Australia shares seen lower ahead of Fed meeting, metal prices may buffer

Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:55pm EST

SYDNEY, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Australian shares are set to open
lower on Wednesday, tracking Wall Street which closed lower
ahead of the next U.S. Federal Reserve meeting, while firmer
metal prices may cap the losses.
    * Local share price index futures fell 0.7 percent
to 5,111, a 32.6-point premium/discount to the underlying
S&P/ASX 200 index close. The benchmark finished flat on
    * New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index slipped 0.2
percent to 4,698.8 in early trade.
    * U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday, a day after a record close on
the S&P 500, with traders looking ahead to next week's Federal
Reserve meeting in the absence of market-moving economic data.
    * Copper touched its highest level in a month on Tuesday,
aided by a weaker dollar, with steady buying from top consumer
China also helping to underpin prices.
    * QBE Insurance Group Ltd will be in focus after 
Moody's downgraded its senior unsecured debt ratings to Baa2 on
Tuesday and said the outlook was stable.
    * An investor group led by Macquarie on Tuesday
purchased the Severn gas-fired power station in Britain from
Danish utility DONG Energy, adding to a trend as investors snap
up power plant assets in Europe. 
----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2141 GMT ------------
                    INSTRUMENT   LAST       PCT CHG   NET CHG
S&P 500                   1802.62     -0.32%    -5.750
USD/JPY                   102.79      -0.46%    -0.480
10-YR US TSY YLD     2.8006          --    -0.056
SPOT GOLD                 1260.85      1.64%    20.290
US CRUDE                  98.51        1.20%     1.170
DOW JONES                 15973.13    -0.33%    -52.40
ASIA ADRS                148.02      -0.16%     -0.24

  * Wall St slips with Fed still the focus                 
  * U.S. crude gains $1 on anticipated inventory draw     
  * Gold up 2 pct on technicals, fund buying; Fed the
  * Copper hits 1-month high on weak dollar, demand prospects   
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 (Australia/New Zealand bureaux; +61 2 9373 1800/+64 4 471 

 (Reporting by Maggie Lu Yueyang)