Australia shares seen lower as offshore markets retreat

SYDNEY Thu May 15, 2014 7:27pm EDT

Related Topics

SYDNEY May 16 (Reuters) - Australian shares are set to open lower on Friday, tracking Wall Street's pull-back from record highs, as investors eye potential risks offshore in the absence of any big local drivers.

* Local share price index futures fell 0.5 percent to 5,496.0, a 14.8-point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index close. The benchmark rose 0.3 percent on Thursday to hit a two-week high.

* New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index fell 0.4 percent in early trade.

* U.S. stocks fell on Thursday, giving the Dow and the S&P 500 their worst declines in more than a month, as small-cap shares extended their retreat and Wal-Mart results disappointed.

* Nickel prices recouped some losses on Thursday, paring an earlier 10 percent fall as investors seized the opportunity to jump back into a market, where there are expectations of future gains as supply shortages become more severe.

* Wilmar International and First Pacific Co have sweetened a deal to take over Goodman Fielder Ltd , after the Australian food firm rejected the initial bid as too low last month.

* Santos Ltd will hold its annual general meeting on Friday.

---------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 23:06 GMT ------------------

INSTRUMENT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,870.85 -0.94% -17.680 USD/JPY 101.52 -0.04% -0.040 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.496 -- 0.000 SPOT GOLD $1,296.10 0.01% 0.100 US CRUDE $101.60 0.10% 0.100 DOW JONES 16446.81 -1.01% -167.16 ASIA ADRS 143.04 -0.57% -0.82 -------------------------------------------------------------

* Wall St falls for 2nd day; small caps slide again * Brent rises at June contract expiration, U.S. crude falls * Gold drops 0.9 pct on technicals, bright US economic data * Nickel recoups some losses after falling 10 pct

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

FILED UNDER: