Australia shares seen rebounding on U.S. economic data

Thu Mar 20, 2014 6:16pm EDT

SYDNEY, March 21 (Reuters) - Australian shares are set to
open higher on Friday, rebounding from a 1.1 percent loss posted
a day earlier and tracking Wall Street gains after the U.S.
posted better-than-expected factory activity and jobless data.
        
    * Local share price index futures rose 0.4 percent
to 5,318, an 24-point premium to the underlying S&P/ASX 200
index close. The benchmark fell 1.1 percent on Thursday.
    * New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index was flat at
5,157.9 in early trade.
    * Wall Street stocks rose on Thursday, after a batch of
economic data pointed to an improving economy and investors
reassessed Fed Chair Janet Yellen's comments that had fueled
speculation of an earlier-than-expected rate hike by the U.S.
central bank.
    * Copper prices slid on Thursday, giving up the previous
day's gains, as investors worried about the prospect of U.S.
interest rates increasing earlier than expected and about a
credit squeeze in top consumer China.
    * Gold prices were little changed on Thursday, helped by
bargain hunting after the metal's sharp drop the previous day on
comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen that suggested
U.S. interest rates could rise sooner than expected.
    * Roy Hill said on Friday it had secured $7.2 billion in
debt for the Roy Hill iron ore mining project, completing all
the funding for the giant mine in Western Australia due to start
producing in late 2015. 
    The 55-million-tonnes a year mine will make Roy Hill
Australia's fifth largest iron ore producer, adding to a slew of
new supply from bigger rivals Rio Tinto , BHP
Billiton  and Fortescue Metals Group.
    * Zimbabwe is considering a proposal for the construction of
a platinum refinery from Impala Platinum, the world's
No. 2 producer of the precious metal, the country's mines
minister said on Thursday. 
    The news may put platinum miner Implats' Zimbabwean unit
Zimplats in focus.
    * The Australian government's efforts to scrap the country's
carbon tax were defeated in a Senate vote on Thursday, though
the bill is likely to return after July when more Liberal
senators take their seats. 
 
------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2205 GMT ------------------
                    INSTRUMENT   LAST       PCT CHG   NET CHG
S&P 500                   1,872.01     0.6      11.240
USD/JPY                   102.39       0.01      0.010
10-YR US TSY YLD     2.7771         --      0.000
SPOT GOLD                 1,329.81     0.14      1.920
US CRUDE                  99.43        0.00      0.000
DOW JONES                 16,331.05    0.67    108.88
ASIA ADRS                137.76      -0.88     -1.23
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 * Wall Street rebounds after data; financials climb       
 * Brent rises on strong equities, sanctions              
 * Gold flat on Fed plans, easing Ukraine tensions       
 * Copper slides on U.S. interest rate signal, China    
    
    For a digest of the day's business stories in Australian 
newspapers, double-click on: 

 (Reporting by Maggie Lu Yueyang, editing by G Crosse)