Australia shares seen steadying, investors eye data

Wed Jul 30, 2014 7:26pm EDT

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SYDNEY, July 31 (Reuters) - Australian shares are set to
make a steady start on Thursday after climbing to fresh six-year
highs in the previous session, supported by an uptick on Wall
Street and higher metal prices.
        
    * Local share price index futures were flat, a
42.9-point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index 
close. The benchmark added 0.6 percent on Wednesday. 
    * New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index declined 0.1
percent in early trade.
    * The S&P 500 and Nasdaq ended higher on Wednesday after the
Federal Reserve gave a rosier assessment of the U.S. economy
while reaffirming that it is in no hurry to raise interest
rates. 
    * Lead prices fell as investors took profits after a rally
this month, but a brighter global economic outlook is seen
providing support to industrial metals. LME zinc rebounded while
copper and aluminium also closed higher. 
    * Sonic Healthcare Ltd has announced a UK joint
venture with NHS hospitals. 
    * Australian private sector credit, building permits and
trade prices data are due out later in the day.
    * Origin Energy Ltd will release its quarterly
production report. 
    
    
----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2306 GMT ------------
                    INSTRUMENT   LAST       PCT CHG   NET CHG
S&P 500                   1970.07      0.01%     0.120
USD/JPY                   102.85       0.07%     0.070
10-YR US TSY YLD     2.5596          --     0.000
SPOT GOLD                 1296.29      0.12%     1.590
US CRUDE                  99.38       -0.89%    -0.890
DOW JONES                 16880.36    -0.19%    -31.75
ASIA ADRS                154.23       0.22%      0.34
-------------------------------------------------------------   
                                                        
 
  * S&P 500, Nasdaq end up as Fed in no rush to raise rates 
  * Oil prices tumble on ample supply, weak demand         
  * Gold traders brush aside signs Fed in no hurry to raise
rates 
  * Lead falls as investors book profits after rally     
    
    For a digest of the day's business stories in Australian 
newspapers, double click on    
        

 (Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Stephen Coates)
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