Australia shares seen up modestly on Wall St advance
SYDNEY Feb 14 (Reuters) - Australian shares are set to open modestly higher on Friday as Wall Street advanced for the fifth session out of six, although gains may be capped as copper prices eased on concerns about a slowing Chinese economy.
* Local share price index futures rose 0.6 percent, but was still a 12.1-point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index close. The benchmark finished flat on Thursday.
* New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index slipped 0.1 percent in early trade.
* U.S. stocks closed higher on Thursday, with the Nasdaq rising for a sixth straight day, as investors looked past disappointing data on consumer spending, chalking the weakness up to weather instead of weaker fundamentals. The Dow and S&P 500 rose for the fifth session in six.
* Copper prices eased as concerns about a slowing Chinese economy resurfaced when investors reassessed the previous day's buoyant Chinese trade data and its possible impact on demand. Gold rose almost 1 percent to reach above $1,300 an ounce for the first time in over three months.
* Newcrest Mining Ltd says its first half sales revenue rose 12 percent to A$2.02 billion.
* A top Australian central banker on Friday said there were good reasons why the local dollar had fallen over the past year, but stopped short of declaring that it needed to fall any further.
* New Zealand-based jewelry retailer Michael Hill International Ltd's first half net profit fell 22 percent on higher tax payments, the company said on Friday.
----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2220 GMT ------------
INSTRUMENT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1829.83 0.58% 10.570 USD/JPY 102.2 0.05% 0.050 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.7338 -- -0.029 SPOT GOLD 1302.43 0.01% 0.130 US CRUDE 100.36 -0.01% -0.010 DOW JONES 16027.59 0.40% 63.65 ASIA ADRS 142.08 -0.35% -0.50 -------------------------------------------------------------
* Wall St closes higher; NASDAQ up for 6th straight day * Oil edges lower on weak U.S. data, refinery maintenance * Gold rises above $1,3000 for the first time since Nov * Copper slips as doubts emerge about China's trade 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 Thuy Ong; Editing by Nick Zieminski)
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