Australia shares set to ease for fourth day, resources may weigh

SYDNEY Tue Aug 5, 2014 7:24pm EDT

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SYDNEY Aug 6 (Reuters) - Australian shares are set to ease in early trade, falling from a 2-1/2 week low after Wall Street retreated overnight, while resources stocks may come under pressure from data showing a slowdown in growth in China.

* Local share price index futures shed 0.7 percent to 5443.0, a 75.6-point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index close. The benchmark slipped 0.4 percent on Tuesday.

* New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index slipped 0.5 percent in early trade.

* U.S. stocks ended down on Tuesday, nose-diving in the afternoon as concerns mounted over escalating tensions in Ukraine.

* Copper prices slipped, under pressure from data showing growth in China's services sector slowed to its lowest level in nearly nine years, raising concerns about the demand outlook from the world's top metals consumer. Gold prices rose.

* Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski said Russia has gathered military forces at the border with Ukraine to either put pressure on the neighbouring country or to enter it.

* Orica Ltd said it intends to separate its chemicals division either through a demerger or sale, and has received enquiries from third parties expressing preliminary interest.

* Adelaide Brighton Ltd has acquired two integrated aggregates and premixed concrete businesses located in South Australia and Queensland.

* Saputo Inc, Canada's largest dairy producer, reported higher quarterly earnings on Tuesday, lifted by recent acquisitions, including control of Australia's Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Company Holdings Ltd.

----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2259 GMT ------------

INSTRUMENT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1920.21 -0.97% -18.780 USD/JPY 102.63 0.04% 0.040 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.4889 -- 0.000 SPOT GOLD 1288.11 0.03% 0.370 US CRUDE 97.68 0.31% 0.300 DOW JONES 16429.47 -0.84% -139.81 ASIA ADRS 150.99 -1.25% -1.91 -------------------------------------------------------------

* U.S. stocks tumble on Ukraine tensions; Time Warner skids after-hours * Brent oil at 9-month low on ample supply, weak demand * Gold turns higher on U.S. equities tumble, Ukraine worry * Copper lower on slowing China service sector growth

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

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