SYDNEY, Feb 12 Australian shares are set to rise
on Wednesday after Wall Street rose overnight on relief over the
debt ceiling and the timing of stimulus tapering, while solid
earnings reports may also boost local market sentiment.
* Local share price index futures rose 0.7 percent,
but was still at a 15.5-point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX
200 index close. The benchmark rose 0.6 percent on
* New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 0.2
percent in early trade.
* Wall Street rose for a fourth straight session on Tuesday
as Congress agreed to advance legislation extending U.S.
borrowing authority and the Federal Reserve's new chief held off
from making any changes to its schedule for trimming stimulus.
* Copper eased after Yellen lent support to the dollar, but
the decline was limited by tight future spreads that showed a
short-term dearth of the metal. Gold rose to a three-month high.
* Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the country's
biggest lender by market value, reported a 14 percent rise in
first half earnings, beating analysts' forecasts as net interest
income grew despite ongoing pressure on its margins.
* Australian building materials maker Boral Ltd
said it expects strong improvement in its construction materials
arm, its biggest business, and a return to the black for its
U.S. business in the second half of the year.
* AGL Energy Ltd has agreed to a deal to buy the
Australian state-owned power company Macquarie Generation for
A$1.505 billion, the Australian gas and electricity retailer
said on Wednesday.
* Australia blood products maker CSL Ltd reported a
3 percent rise in first-half net profit, in line with market
forecasts, and reaffirmed it expects full-year growth of around
* Mayne Pharma Group Ltd announced it has acquired
selected brands from Forest Laboratories and said it
will fund the acquisition via a fully underwritten equity
placement of A$18.0 million.
* Stockland Corp Ltd, Australia's second largest
property group, reported a 5 percent rise in first-half net
profit, supported by improved sales in residential business.
* Westpac Banking Corp's consumer sentiment survey
is due out later in the day.
------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2221 GMT ------------------
INSTRUMENT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG
S&P 500 1,819.75 1.11 19.910
USD/JPY 102.59 -0.04 -0.040
10-YR US TSY YLD 2.7277 -- 0.050
SPOT GOLD 1,290.36 -0.09 -1.100
US CRUDE 100.4 0.34 0.340
DOW JONES 15,994.77 1.22 192.98
ASIA ADRS 142.49 1.72 2.41
* Relief over debt ceiling, Fed lift Wall St for 4th day
* Brent rises modestly on weather-related demand for oil
* Gold rises 1.4 pct to 3-mo high after Yellen comments
* Copper eases after Fed, tight stocks lend support
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(Reporting by Thuy Ong, editing by G Crosse)