Australia shares set for cautious start after U.S. jobs data

SYDNEY Sun Jan 12, 2014 5:10pm EST

SYDNEY Jan 13 (Reuters) - Australian stocks were set for a cautious start on Monday following a volatile session on Wall Street sparked by surprisingly weak U.S. jobs numbers.

* Local share price index futures dipped 0.1 percent to 5,286.0, a 26.4-point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index close. The benchmark slipped 0.2 percent on Friday.

* New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index edged up 0.1 percent to 4,867.9 in early trade.

* The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq ended modestly higher on Friday, led by gains in defensive names after a weaker-than-expected payrolls report raised new questions about both the strength of the economy and the aggressiveness of Federal Reserve stimulus.

* Data on Friday showed U.S. employers hired the fewest workers in nearly three years, although unusually cold weather may have had an impact.

* Copper rose on Friday, lifted by a weaker dollar after worse-than-expected U.S. labour market data reinforced the view that the U.S. Federal Reserve is likely to be cautious in scaling back its bond-buying stimulus programme.

* Australia will release the housing finance data for November at 0030 GMT, with the December job advertisements figure from Australia and New Zealand Banking Group also due at the same time.

----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2206 GMT ------------

INSTRUMENT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1842.37 0.23% 4.240 USD/JPY 104.04 -0.08% -0.080 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.8579 -- 0.000 SPOT GOLD 1248.33 0.00% 0.000 US CRUDE 92.86 1.31% 1.200 DOW JONES 16437.05 -0.05% -7.71 ASIA ADRS 147.52 0.99% 1.45 -------------------------------------------------------------

* S&P ends up, led by defensive stocks; earnings in play * Oil rises $1 as shorts cover on U.K. oilfield glitch * Gold rises 1.5 pct after weak payrolls, posts weekly gain

* Copper rises as dollar pressured by weak U.S. jobs data

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 Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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