Australia shares set for steady open, but iron ore, Wall St may weigh

SYDNEY, Sept 5 Thu Sep 4, 2014 7:08pm EDT

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SYDNEY, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Australian shares are seen steadying at the open on Friday after two sessions of losses, though a rout in iron ore prices to record lows and a decline on Wall Street may damp investor sentiment.

* Local share price index futures was flat at 5,633.0, a 1.7-point premium to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index close. The benchmark fell 0.4 percent on Thursday.

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

* U.S. stocks ended down on Thursday, retreating from intraday records for the S&P and Dow, as a decline in energy shares sapped an earlier rally following the European Central Bank's new stimulus measures.

* Nickel prices climbed to their highest in seven weeks as speculators returned to the market on worries that the Philippines could follow Indonesia in banning unprocessed ore exports.

* Spot iron ore prices have fallen to their lowest in nearly five years, and China rebar and iron ore futures both dropped on Thursday to record lows, with credit still tight and buyers waiting to restock.

* Australian Industry Group's construction index is due out later on Friday.

----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2301 GMT ------------

INSTRUMENT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1997.65 -0.15% -3.070 USD/JPY 105.39 0.12% 0.130 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.4533 -- 0.000 SPOT GOLD 1257.85 -0.24% -2.990 US CRUDE 94.54 0.10% 0.090 DOW JONES 17069.58 -0.05% -8.70 ASIA ADRS 155.88 -0.33% -0.51 -------------------------------------------------------------

* Wall St ends down as energy shares decline, offset ECB * Oil slips on surprise ECB rate cut, EIA data supports * Gold drops as euro slumps against dollar after ECB moves * Nickel hits 7-week high as Philippine news spurs spectators

For a digest of the day's business stories in Australian newspapers, double click on

(Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by)

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