Australia shares seen dropping on China & Ukraine concerns, metals prices

SYDNEY, March 14 Thu Mar 13, 2014 6:15pm EDT

SYDNEY, March 14 (Reuters) - Australian shares are set to take a beating on Friday as Wall Street stocks fell overnight while copper resumed its decline, with investors cautious over slowing growth in China and geopolitical tensions in the Ukraine.

An uptick in gold as a safe haven may cap broader losses.

* Local share price index futures lost 1.1 percent, a 57.6-point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index close. The benchmark added 0.5 percent on Thursday.

* New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index fell 0.9 percent in early trade.

* U.S. stocks tumbled on Thursday, with the Dow and the S&P 500 suffering their worst day since early February, on rising concerns over Ukraine and Russia and new signs of a slowdown in China.

* Copper resumed its decline after a brief recovery the previous day as concerns about the economy of top consumer China intensified following data showing weak industrial output and retail sales.

* Gold rose to a six-month high on China fears and lingering worries about Russia's standoff with Ukraine over Crimea dampened demand for riskier assets and boosted bullion's appeal.

* Otto Energy Ltd said the Philippines Department of Energy has approved a transfer of SC55 interest and operatorship to Otto.

* Alara Resources Ltd said it is moving to a 60 percent interest in an updated agreement with JV partners on the Khnaiguiyah zinc-copper project.

* Kidman Resources Ltd is seeking a trading halt pending an announcement to the market in relation to a proposed project acquisition.

----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2213 GMT ------------

INSTRUMENT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1846.34 -1.17% -21.860 USD/JPY 101.81 -0.02% -0.020 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.6454 -- 0.000 SPOT GOLD 1370.29 0.02% 0.300 US CRUDE 98.21 0.01% 0.010 DOW JONES 16108.89 -1.41% -231.19 ASIA ADRS 139.51 -1.41% -2.00 -------------------------------------------------------------

* Wall St tumbles as Ukraine tensions rise, China slows * Brent crude down on weak China data; U.S. oil rebounds * Gold rises to six-month high on China worries, Ukraine * Copper falls as fears intensify over China slowdown

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(Australia/New Zealand bureaux; +61 2 9373 1800/+64 4 471 4234)

(Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by)