Australia shares seen flat, caution on Iraq
SYDNEY, June 16
SYDNEY, June 16 (Reuters) - Australian shares are set to open little changed on Monday, with oil prices supported by concerns over unrest in Iraq but iron ore prices again dipping to a fresh 21-month low.
* Local share price index futures were flat at a 0.9-point premium to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index close. The benchmark fell 0.4 percent to a 3-1/2 week low on Friday, and was down 1.1 percent for the week, its third consecutive week of losses.
* New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index slipped 0.1 percent early trade.
* U.S. stocks edged up on Friday, boosted by bullish news from the tech sector, but major indexes fell for the week as unrest in Iraq kept investors on edge.
* The United States ordered military personnel to boost security for its diplomatic staff in Baghdad on Sunday and said some staff were being evacuated from the embassy as the IRaqi government battled to hold off insurgent forces.
* Copper recovered as buying picked up a day after prices hit their lowest in 1-1/2 months, but the metal still fell for a third straight week due to concerns over demand and a probe into metals financing in China. Gold prices edged higher.
* Crude oil prices rose to a new nine-month high as concerns persisted that an insurgency in Iraq could disrupt oil exports from the second-largest OPEC producer.
* Spot iron ore .IO62-CNI=SI fell to $90.90, its lowest since September 2012.
* Arrium Ltd said it has refinanced $725 million equivalent of syndicated facilities, which are due to mature in the second half of 2015.
* A TPG Capital Management-led consortium has agreed to buy the property arm of the Australian engineering services firm UGL Ltd for A$1.215 billion.
* Commonwealth Bank of Australia has appointed David Whiteing as new group executive, enterprise services and chief information officer.
* Super Retail Group said its full year net profit after tax is expected to be between A$107 million and A$109 million, an increase of around 5 percent in reported earnings over the prior year.
* Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd said it has agreed with Thien Minh Group to work together in a joint venture to expand TMG's Buffalo tours destination management business throughout Asia.
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INSTRUMENT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1936.16 0.31% 6.050 USD/JPY 101.98 -0.07% -0.070 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.6078 -- #N/A SPOT GOLD 1277.5 0.08% 1.000 US CRUDE 107.44 0.50% 0.530 DOW JONES 16775.74 0.25% 41.55 ASIA ADRS 147.62 0.16% 0.24 -------------------------------------------------------------
* Wall St edges up on Intel but posts weekly loss * Oil prices climb again amid escalating violence in Iraq * Palladium hits 1-month low on wage deal hopes; gold up * Copper bounces after losses, but falls for third week
For a digest of the day's business stories in Australian newspapers, double click on (Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Richard Pullin)