December 9, 2013 / 10:31 PM / 4 years ago

Australia shares seen subdued, miners may buoy on metals prices

SYDNEY, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Australian shares are seen subdued at the open on Tuesday after touching eight-week lows in the previous session as investors remained wary over when the U.S. will begin to taper its stimulus programme, while a rise in metals prices may support mining stocks.

* Local share price index futures was flat, a 3.4-point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index close. The benchmark fell 0.8 percent on Monday.

* New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index fell 0.1 percent in early trade.

* U.S. stocks edged higher on Monday, with the S&P 500 closing at a record high, as traders awaited more clues from the Federal Reserve on whether the U.S. central bank would soon begin winding down its economic stimulus.

* Nickel prices shot up to the highest levels in a month because of worries about the impact of a planned Indonesian ban on ore exports while copper rose due to upbeat Chinese trade data.

* Gold rose 1.0 percent after a late-session rally spurred by a dollar drop and technical support that prompted funds to establish new positions.

* Shanghai steel futures rose nearly 1 percent.

* A raft of data including mortgage lending, business confidence and consumer sentiment is due out later in the day.

* BHP Billiton has agreed to pay a 41 percent rise in copper processing fees to China's large smelters for the first half of 2014, sources said, showing smelters are in a strong negotiating position as supply of concentrates rises.

* Woodside Petroleum Ltd will hold an investor update.

----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2221 GMT ------------

INSTRUMENT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1808.37 0.18% 3.280 USD/JPY 103.23 -0.04% -0.040 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.8444 -- -0.037 SPOT GOLD 1239.86 -0.06% -0.700 US CRUDE 97.2 -0.46% -0.450 DOW JONES 16025.53 0.03% 5.33 ASIA ADRS 148.26 -0.26% -0.39 -------------------------------------------------------------

* S&P 500 floats up to record close in quiet day on Wall St * Brent slides 2 percent, narrowing premium to U.S. oil * Gold rises 1 pct on fund buying but volume thin * Nickel hits month peak on worries about Indonesia export ban

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

(Australia/New Zealand bureaux; +61 2 9373 1800/+64 4 471 4234)

Reporting by Thuy Ong

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