Australia shares seen opening higher; eyes on U.S. non-farm, Ukraine tension

Thu Mar 6, 2014 5:12pm EST

SYDNEY, March 7 (Reuters) - Australian shares are set to
open higher on Friday, tracking Wall Street's gain on better
jobless data, while investors will still cautiously watch for
the U.S. nonfarm payrolls report and tensions between Ukraine
and Russia.
    
    * Local share price index futures rose 0.2 percent
to 5,450.0, a 4.1-point premium to the underlying S&P/ASX 200
index close. The benchmark finished flat on Thursday.
    * New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 0.1
percent to 5,122.3 in early trade.
    * U.S. stocks mostly rose on Thursday, with the S&P 500
closing at yet another record on better-than-expected jobless
claims data and the European Central Bank's move to keep rates
unchanged.
    * Copper was steady and some other base metals slipped on
Thursday on investor concern over future demand in top metals
consumer China after more details emerged about reform plans.
    * Emirates airline said its alliance with Australia's Qantas
 was working and had helped the Gulf carrier to improve
yields, after some analysts questioned the benefits of the
partnership. 
    * Global miner Rio Tinto  pledged on
Thursday to press ahead with finalising an investment framework
for the long-delayed Simandou iron ore project and said it would
seek ratification from parliament as soon as possible.
 

----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2207 GMT ------------
                    INSTRUMENT   LAST       PCT CHG   NET CHG
S&P 500                   1877.03      0.17%     3.220
USD/JPY                   103.13       0.07%     0.070
10-YR US TSY YLD     2.7373          --     0.041
SPOT GOLD                 1349.84     -0.07%    -0.900
US CRUDE                  101.97       0.51%     0.520
DOW JONES                 16421.89     0.38%     61.71
ASIA ADRS                146.29       1.59%      2.29
-------------------------------------------------------------   
                                                        

        
  * S&P 500 ends at record on jobless data; payrolls eyed  
  * U.S. crude oil futures settle at $101.56/BBL           
  * Gold rises 1 pct on euro gain; ECB leaves rate unchanged    
                                            
  * Copper steady on China concerns; nickel extends gains 
 
    
    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 Jonathan Oatis)
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