Australia shares seen down on Ukraine, China growth worries

Mon Mar 24, 2014 5:30pm EDT

MELBOURNE, March 25 (Reuters) - Australian shares are set to
open lower on Tuesday, giving up gains from the previous session
after Wall Street tumbled on escalating tension in Ukraine and
with investors uncertain on whether China will move to shore up
growth.
    
    * Share price index futures fell 0.6 percent to
5,315, a 31.9-point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index
. The benchmark rose 0.2 percent on Monday.
    * New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index fell 0.3
percent to 5,101.7 in early trade.
    * U.S. stocks fell on Monday, with some of the market's
recent best performers like technology and biotech shares
leading the way down. Concerns the crisis in Ukraine could
escalate gave investors a reason to drop some trading favorites.
    * U.S. President Barack Obama and major industrialised
allies warned Russia on Monday it faced damaging economic
sanctions if President Vladimir Putin takes further action in
Ukraine following the seizure of Crimea.
    * Copper steadied on Monday as investors saw last week's
fall to 3-1/2 year lows as overdone and as the latest batch of
weak data from China spurred hopes that authorities would
introduce measures to support the economy. 
    * Gold prices tumbled about 2 percent, the biggest one-day
drop in nearly two months, as hedge funds dumped the precious
metal on bets that rising U.S. interest rates could spark a
further retreat from last week's six-month high.
        

----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2116 GMT ------------
                    INSTRUMENT   LAST       PCT CHG   NET CHG
S&P 500                   1857.44     -0.49%    -9.080
USD/JPY                   102.2       -0.03%    -0.030
10-YR US TSY YLD     2.7299          --    -0.020
SPOT GOLD                 1308.12     -1.94%   -25.820
US CRUDE                  99.42       -0.04%    -0.040
DOW JONES                 16276.69    -0.16%    -26.08
ASIA ADRS                137.85       0.04%      0.06
-------------------------------------------------------------   
                                                        

        
  * Tech leads Wall St lower as Ukraine casts a shadow      
  * Brent crude falls on weak China data in volatile trade 
  * Gold drops 2 pct on fund selling, US rate hike fears  
  * Copper steadies as China stimulus hopes lend support 
    
    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)

 (Editing by Robin Pomeroy)
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