Australia shares seen steady as investors gauge budget impact

Tue May 13, 2014 7:17pm EDT

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MELBOURNE, May 14 (Reuters) - Australian stocks are set to
open roughly unchanged as investors digest the conservative
Australian government's tough first budget, but may get a boost
from a strong quarterly result for top bank Commonwealth Bank of
Australia.
    
    * Investors will gauge the economic impact of the budget,
which includes a deficit levy, higher fuel taxes and a fee for
all doctor's visits from July 2015 to help return the budget to
surplus within a decade. 
    * Share price index futures inched up 1 point to
5,488.0, but that was a 10.2-point discount to the underlying
S&P/ASX 200 index. The benchmark rose 0.9 percent on
Tuesday.
    * New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 0.1
percent to 5,204.8 in early trade.
    * Commonwealth Bank of Australia on Wednesday
reported a 16 percent rise in cash earnings to about A$2.2
billion for the March quarter, bolstered by revenue growth and
cost cuts. 
    * On Wall Street, the Dow and the S&P 500 eked out record
closing highs again on Tuesday, while the Nasdaq resumed its
recent slide, dragged down by shares of Cisco.
    * Mining stocks may slip after gold dipped 0.1 percent, 
nickel prices came off after touching a fresh 27-month high, and
copper dipped on data from top metals consumer China data
pointing to weak economic activity. 

----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2224 GMT ------------
                    INSTRUMENT   LAST       PCT CHG   NET CHG
S&P 500                   1897.45      0.04%     0.800
USD/JPY                   102.26       0.01%     0.010
10-YR US TSY YLD     2.6107          --     0.000
SPOT GOLD                 1293.79      0.08%     1.050
US CRUDE                  101.89       0.19%     0.190
DOW JONES                 16715.44     0.12%     19.97
ASIA ADRS                144.29       0.48%      0.69
-------------------------------------------------------------   
                                                        
        
  * Dow, S&P 500 end at record highs again; Nasdaq slips    
  * U.S. crude hits 2-week highs on perceived stock draws  
  * Platinum, palladium rise on supply fears; gold eases  
  * Nickel hits fresh 27-month peak; copper down         
    
    For a digest of the day's business stories in Australian 
newspapers, double click on    
        

 (Editing by Richard Pullin)
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