SYDNEY Feb 13 Australian shares are set to have
a cautious start on Thursday following a slight dip on Wall
Street, and investors will likely stay on the sidelines ahead of
earnings from index heavyweight miner Rio Tinto Ltd.
* Local share price index futures rose 0.2 percent
to 5,272, but was still a 38.1-point discount to the close of
the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index on Wednesday. The
benchmark rose 1.1 percent in the previous session
* New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index eked out a
gain of 0.1 percent in early trade.
* The Dow and S&P 500 ticked lower on Wednesday, weighed
down by Procter & Gamble's outlook revision, though some
positive earnings limited the declines and assuaged concerns
that the market had become stretched after a four-day rally.
* Copper bounced on Wednesday after two days of losses,
boosted by Chinese trade data showing record January imports,
well-received comments from the new U.S. central bank chief and
a U.S. debt limit deal.
* Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott's tough stance
against bailing out struggling industries has caused a rare
public split inside his conservative government, which may
suffer as a result of the divisive policy.
* Australia's largest telecommunications provider Telstra
Corporation Ltd has reported first half profit
attributable to equity holders at A$1.7 billion, up 9.2 percent.
* Transurban Group, Australia's biggest toll road
operator, said its first half net profit fell slightly, missing
analyst projections of an earnings increase as costs rose.
* ASX Ltd reported first half revenue from ordinary
activities at A$405.2 million, an increase of 4.5 percent.
* The GPT Group said its full year total revenues
and other income was down 4.6 percent to A$948.2 million. The
property group says it expects economic growth to remain below
trend in 2014.
* Rio Tinto Ltd is due to report earnings later in
----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2221 GMT ------------
INSTRUMENT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG
S&P 500 1819.26 -0.03% -0.490
USD/JPY 102.52 0% 0.000
10-YR US TSY YLD 2.7626 -- 0.046
SPOT GOLD 1290.84 0.02% 0.200
US CRUDE 100.31 0.37% 0.370
DOW JONES 15963.94 -0.19% -30.83
ASIA ADRS 142.58 0.07% 0.09
* S&P 500's 4-day rally ends on P&G's outlook
* U.S. oil ends at 4-mnth high, spread narrows on Cushing
* Gold flat; technical momentum, Fed hopes seen supporting
* Copper gains on surge in Chinese imports, Yellen comments
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(Australia/New Zealand bureaux; +61 2 9373 1800/+64 4 471
(Reporting by Thuy Ong and Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by