Australia shares seen steady, investors eye housing data

Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:12pm EDT

SYDNEY, July 29 (Reuters) - Australian shares are expected
to open flat on Tuesday after an uninspired performance on Wall
Street overnight, allowing investors to take a breather after
the market rallied to six-year highs last week. 
    
    * Local share price index futures dipped 0.1
percent, a 55.4-point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200
index close. The benchmark slipped 0.1 percent on
Monday. 
    * New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index ticked 0.1
percent higher in early trade.
    * U.S. stocks ended nearly flat overnight as the latest deal
news offset losses following discouraging data on the housing
market and some signs of weakness in the services sector. 
    * Copper was steady as investors weighed increased supply
from Indonesia against prospects for higher demand, while lead
was near a 1-1/2 year high, tracking related metal zinc. 
    * Gold was little changed as traders and investors awaited
the outcome of a Federal Reserve policy meeting.
    * Monthly new home sales data from the Housing Industry
Australia is due later in the day.
    * QBE Insurance Group Ltd said it expects net
profit after tax for the first half to be around A$390 million,
with its insurance profit margin likely to be 7 percent to 8
percent, compared with an expectation of around 10 percent.
 

        
  * Wall St yawns as deal news offsets data; Herbalife sinks 
  * Oil lower on signs of excess supply, weak demand in Europe &
Asia 
  * Gold little changed, awaiting Fed meeting & U.S. jobs
data 
  * Copper steadies as more Indonesia supply offsets higher
demand 
    
    For a digest of the day's business stories in Australian 
newspapers, double click on    
        

 (Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
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