Australia shares seen tentative, China inflation in focus

Thu May 8, 2014 7:51pm EDT

SYDNEY, May 9 (Reuters) - Australian shares are expected to
open on a tentative footing  on Friday after a flat finish on
Wall Street, with investors likely to remain cautious ahead of
China inflation data and a quarterly policy statement from the
Reserve Bank of Australia. 
    * Local share price index futures rose 1 point to
5,450, a 17 point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index
 close. The benchmark rose 41 points on Thursday.
    * New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index fell 0.8
percent to 5,156.9 in early trade.
    * U.S. stocks were mixed with gains in internet stocks
offset by losses in energy and utility sectors.
    * Nickel hit its strongest levels in more than two years as
industrial consumers scrambled to secure supplies and
speculators extended their buying spree after Vale halted its
Goro nickel operations in New Caledonia.
    * Shares of Envestra could rise after companies
controlled by Li Ka-shing launched an unsolicited $1.8 billion
takeover offer. This trumps an earlier offer from Australian
Pipeline Ltd which already owns a third of Envestra.
 
    * China inflation data (CPI & PPI) will be released around
0130 GMT -- any unexpected acceleration in price pressure could
be negative for market sentiment. China is Australia's biggest
export market.
    * The Reserve Bank of Australia quarterly policy statement
is due at 0130GMT, with markets keeping an eye on inflation and
growth forecasts.
                                                                                                         
 ----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2238 GMT ------------
                     INSTRUMENT   LAST       PCT CHG   NET CHG
 S&P 500                          1875.63     -0.14%    -2.580
 USD/JPY                          101.63      -0.02%    -0.020
 10-YR US TSY YLD                 2.6107          --     0.000
 SPOT GOLD                        1289.76      0.06%     0.760
 US CRUDE                         100.27       0.01%     0.010
 DOW JONES                        16550.97     0.20%     32.43
 ASIA ADRS                        141.54       0.28%      0.39
 -------------------------------------------------------------                                           
 
  * Wall St ends mostly lower; Nasdaq down for 3rd session 
  * U.S. crude falls on technical trade/Ukraine conflict  
  * Gold edges up as investors digest Yellen comments    
  * Nickel soars to two-year peak on Goro mine halt, shortages
 
    
    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)
        

 (Reporting by Pauline Askine; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)