Australia shares seen higher on Macquarie, eyes on U.S. jobs

SYDNEY Thu May 1, 2014 7:16pm EDT

SYDNEY May 2 (Reuters) - Australian shares are set to open with a positive tone, supported by a better-than-expected result by top investment bank Macquarie, although investors may exercise caution ahead of a key U.S. jobs report.

* Macquarie Group Ltd posted a 56 percent rise in half-year profits, boosted by a strong performance by its market-facing business.

* Local share price index futures added 0.2 percent, but were still at a 2.8-point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index close. The benchmark fell 0.7 percent on Thursday.

* New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index added 0.1 percent in early trade.

* The S&P 500 ended nearly flat on Thursday as investors paused ahead of the jobs report, although gains in Internet shares helped lift the Nasdaq

* Aluminium fell to a one-month low, and copper dropped to its lowest in two-weeks following disappointing data on factory activity in top consumer China and after the U.S. central bank withdrew more monetary stimulus. Gold fell around one percent in thin trade.

* An impasse between Rio Tinto and the Mongolian government over a giant copper mine in the country should be resolved by September, with underground mining beginning within two years, a government official told Reuters.

* Recall Holdings Ltd has acquired Citistorage LLC for A$47.2 million, which will be funded from cash and exisiting facilities.

* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) have started proceedings against Actrol Parts Pty Ltd, Reece Australia Ltd, relating to alleged conduct prior to Actrol's acquisition by Reece.

----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2302 GMT ------------

INSTRUMENT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1883.68 -0.01% -0.270 USD/JPY 102.3 -0.02% -0.020 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.6133 -- 0.000 SPOT GOLD 1283.91 0.03% 0.420 US CRUDE 99.3 -0.12% -0.120 DOW JONES 16558.87 -0.13% -21.97 ASIA ADRS 141.71 0.38% 0.54 -------------------------------------------------------------

* S&P ends flat ahead of jobs report; Internet names gain * Oil falls on ample supply, China data ahead of U.S. jobs report * Gold falls for second day on ETF outflows after Fed * Aluminium, copper drop on China PMI, Fed tapering

For a digest of the day's business stories in Australian newspapers, double click on (Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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