Australia shares seen dipping in light trade, set to end the year 15 pct higher

Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:15pm EST

SYDNEY, Dec 31 (Reuters) - Australian stocks are set to open
slightly lower on Tuesday as investors are poised to trim long
positions on the last trading day of the year, but the index
still looks set to post a gain of 15 percent for 2013.
    The market will close two hours earlier on New Year's eve.

    * Local share price index futures slipped 0.1
percent to 5,323, a discount of 33.8 points to the underlying
S&P/ASX 200 index. The benchmark rose 0.6 percent on
Monday, keeping the market on track to post the biggest annual
gain in four years.
    * New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index fell 0.4
percent to 4,750.7 in early trade.
    * U.S. stocks ended mostly flat on Monday following a strong
rally over the past two-weeks, with weaker-than-forecast housing
data and light trading volume keeping upward momentum in check.
    * Aluminium touched its highest level in nearly two months
on Monday as consumer buying boosted the market in thin
    Copper was barely changed, trading around its highest since
mid-August. The metal gained about seven percent in the last six
weeks on signs of a more solid global economy but prospects for
improvement in physical demand remain uncertain.
    * Cyclone Christine is expected to cross the Western
Australian coast early on Tuesday. The storm has disrupted
shipping from Port Hedland and other ports that are responsible
for two thirds of the world's seaborne iron ore trade.

----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2204 GMT ------------
                    INSTRUMENT   LAST       PCT CHG   NET CHG
S&P 500                   1841.07     -0.02%    -0.330
USD/JPY                   105.11      -0.04%    -0.040
10-YR US TSY YLD     2.9721          --    -0.034
SPOT GOLD                 1196.24      0.02%     0.240
US CRUDE                  99.26       -1.06%    -1.060
DOW JONES                 16504.29     0.16%     25.88
ASIA ADRS                148.98       0.27%      0.40
  * Wall St ends mostly flat in thin trading               
  * Brent falls on signs of Libyan oil recovery; China debt 
  * Gold slips, set for biggest annual loss in 32 years  
  * Aluminium hits highest in nearly two months         
    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 

 (Reporting by Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by Diane Craft)
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