Australia shares expected to dip in thin trade on weak metals prices

SYDNEY Mon Jan 20, 2014 5:34pm EST

SYDNEY Jan 21 (Reuters) - Australian shares are set to fall at the open on Tuesday as a dip in copper and Shanghai steel futures may weigh on resource stocks, while a lack of leads may leave trade thin the session after Wall Street was closed for a public holiday.

* Local share price index futures fell 0.1 percent, a 46-point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index close. The benchmark slipped 0.2 percent on Monday.

* New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index was flat in early trade.

* Wall Street was closed for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

* Copper dipped in holiday-thinned trade as near-term demand prospects from top consumer China remained muted, despite slightly better-than-expected Chinese growth data.

* Gold steadied after touching its highest level in nearly six weeks with a lower dollar and a dip in equities boosting investor confidence in the yellow metal.

* Shanghai steel futures fell for a third straight session to trade near record lows.

----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2224 GMT ------------

INSTRUMENT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1838.7 -0.39% -7.190 USD/JPY 104.15 -0.01% -0.010 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.8194 -- 0.000 SPOT GOLD 1253.19 0.00% 0.000 US CRUDE 93.72 -0.69% -0.650 DOW JONES 16458.56 0.25% 41.55 ASIA ADRS 146.68 -0.21% -0.30 -------------------------------------------------------------

* Wall St was closed for the Martin Luther King holiday * Oil dips below $106/bbl on China data, Iran deal * Gold steadies near 6-week high, strike notice lifts platinum * Copper edges lower on muted China demand prospects

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 David Gregorio; Editing by)