Australia shares seen edging higher; Qantas posts record loss

SYDNEY Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:29pm EDT

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SYDNEY Aug 28 (Reuters) - Australian shares are seen ticking higher in early trade on Thursday, bolstered by a fresh high for the S&P 500, although Australia's national flag carrier Qantas may be hit after a record full-year net loss.

* Local share price index futures added 0.2 percent to 5,615.0, but were at a 36.2-point premium/discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index close. The benchmark added 0.2 percent on Wednesday, closing at a six-year high in a second day of gains.

* Qantas Airways Ltd reported its biggest financial loss ever after taking a hefty A$2.6 billion writedown due to a company restructure that includes a re-valuing of its fleet.

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

* U.S. stocks were little changed on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 creeping up to another record closing high in a lethargic session, although a number of retail stocks traded heavily after reporting results.

* Spot iron ore slipped further below $90 a tonne to hit its lowest in nearly two years after futures prices in China and Singapore fell, with buying interest for cargoes tepid.

* Copper dipped on the prospect of increasing supply of the metal, offsetting growing confidence in U.S. economic growth, while spot gold edged higher on a lower dollar and lingering geopolitical pressures.

* Atlas Iron Ltd posted A$9 million in underlying profit, compared with a year-ago loss, as sharply higher production offset lower iron ore prices.

* Capital expenditure data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics for Q2 is due out later in the day as well as new home sales data from the Housing Industry Association.

----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2310 GMT ------------

INSTRUMENT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 2000.12 0.01% 0.100 USD/JPY 103.89 0.04% 0.040 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.3608 -- 0.000 SPOT GOLD 1282.7 0.02% 0.250 US CRUDE 93.76 -0.13% -0.120 DOW JONES 17122.01 0.09% 15.31 ASIA ADRS 154.25 0.06% 0.09 -------------------------------------------------------------

* Wall St drifts to another record high in light trading * Crude oil little-changed after oil inventory draw, Cushing build * Spot gold edges up on dollar drop, heightened tensions * London copper dips on firm dollar, increasing supply

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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