Australia shares seen flat on China, Ukraine jitters

Wed Mar 12, 2014 6:25pm EDT

Australian shares are set to open flat on Thursday as investors
digest the impact of potential sanctions on Russia over its
actions in Ukraine, while global stock and metals markets
steadied as concerns over weakness in China's economy eased.  
    Focus will be on Australia employment data released at 0030
GMT for clues to the strength of the economy and any signs that
the Reserve Bank of Australia might have to deviate from its
stated outlook of a long period of rates remaining steady at
record lows.
    * Local share price index futures rose 2 points to
5,375, a 9.2 point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index
 close. The benchmark fell 29.6 points to 5,384.2 on
    * New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index fell 8.47
points to 5,088.06 in early trade.
    * U.S. stocks finished little changed, with the Nasdaq up
for the first session in five.
    * Market jitters saw gold hit a near six month high and
copper cap earlier gains, on China's economic concerns and the
tug of war between Russia and the West over Ukraine. Iron ore
futures steadied after their steepest fall since 2009 earlier
this week.
 ----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2147 GMT ------------
                     INSTRUMENT   LAST       PCT CHG   NET CHG
 S&P 500                          1868.2       0.03%     0.570
 USD/JPY                          102.75       0.01%     0.010
 10-YR US TSY YLD                 2.7282          --    -0.038
 SPOT GOLD                        1366.58      1.28%    17.240
 US CRUDE                         98.13        0.14%     0.140
 DOW JONES                        16340.08    -0.07%    -11.17
 ASIA ADRS                        141.51      -0.29%     -0.42
  * Wall St little changed as Ukraine/China concerns brushed off
  * Oil falls more than $2 on stocks rise, SPR sale        
  * Gold up 1.3 pct to highest since Sept on China,Ukraine 
  * Copper rebounds but upside seen limited              
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 (Australia/New Zealand bureaux; +61 2 9373 1800/+64 4 471