Australia shares seen clawing higher, metals prices may underpin

SYDNEY Mon May 26, 2014 7:01pm EDT

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SYDNEY May 27 (Reuters) - Australian shares are seen clawing modestly higher on Tuesday, underpinned by a recovery in metals prices, though investors may be cautious ahead of construction data due out later in the day.

* Local share price index futures rose 0.1 percent, an 18.2-point premium to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index close. The benchmark rose 0.4 percent on Monday.

* New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index was flat in early trade.

* Wall Street was closed overnight for the U.S. Memorial Day holiday.

* Chinese steel and iron ore futures rose to one-week highs on Monday as battered prices regained some ground, although the outlook for demand remained shaky.

* Shanghai copper climbed to its highest since late February as seasonally strong demand put pressure on tight supplies amid modest trading volumes given holidays in Britain and the United States. Gold held steady below $1,300 an ounce.

* Suncorp Group Ltd said its growth targets have been reduced to between 4 percent and 6 percent for FY 2014.

* Evolution Mining Ltd said its chief financial officer, Tim Churcher, had resigned.

* Quarterly construction data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics is due out later in the day.

----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2254 GMT ------------

INSTRUMENT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1900.53 0.42% 8.040 USD/JPY 101.93 -0.01% -0.010 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.5356 -- 0.000 SPOT GOLD 1292.16 -0.04% -0.580 US CRUDE 104.25 -0.10% -0.100 DOW JONES 16606.27 0.38% 63.19 ASIA ADRS 144.51 0.46% 0.67 -------------------------------------------------------------

* Wall St was closed overnight for Memorial Day holiday * Brent slips to near $110/bbl after Ukraine election * Gold steady, but Ukraine election win may weigh * Shanghai copper rises to 3-month peak in holiday-thinned trade

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(Australia/New Zealand bureaux; +61 2 9373 1800/+64 4 471 4234)

(Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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