SYDNEY May 8 Australian shares are seen rising
from 3-week lows after Wall Street edged higher overnight, with
the focus on banks after National Australia Bank highlighted
pressure on margins despite a solid rise in cash earnings.
* National Australia Bank Ltd, the country's top
lender by assts, added to bumper bank earnings with a 8.5
percent rise in cash earnings as bad debt charges dropped.
* Local share price index futures rose 0.5 percent,
a 13.2-point premium to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index
close. The benchmark fell 0.8 percent to a three-week closing
low on Wednesday.
* New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index fell 0.2
percent in early trade.
* U.S. stocks mostly rose after comments from Federal
Reserve Chair Janet Yellen signalled continued support for the
economy, but the Nasdaq fell for a second session as momentum
names sold off.
* Russian President Vladimir Putin called on pro-Moscow
separatists in Ukraine to postpone a vote on secession just five
days before it was to be held, potentially pulling Ukraine back
from the brink of violent dismemberment.
* Nickel prices climbed towards 15-month highs on worries
about tightening supplies from Indonesia following an export ban
on unprocessed ores and on concerns that political tension could
restrict supply from Russia.
* Gold prices fell more than 1 percent as investors took
profits from a run-up spurred by geopolitical concerns, after
Russian President Vladimir Putin urged Ukrainian speratists to
postpone a referendum and said he wa spulling troops back from
their common border.
* Super Retail Group Ltd released a trading update
for May 2014, saying its leisure division is expected to
maintain second-half gross margins slightly below the prior
* Arrium Ltd said its shipments for the March
quarter was up 54 percent.
* Boart Longyear Ltd said its first quarter revenue
was A$197 million compared with A$370 million in the previous
----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2312 GMT ------------
INSTRUMENT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG
S&P 500 1878.21 0.56% 10.490
USD/JPY 101.84 -0.06% -0.060
10-YR US TSY YLD 2.5896 -- 0.000
SPOT GOLD 1289.46 0.04% 0.520
US CRUDE 100.84 0.07% 0.070
DOW JONES 16518.54 0.72% 117.52
ASIA ADRS 141.15 -0.57% -0.81
* Dow, S&P gain on Yellen; NASDAQ ends down for 2nd day
* U.S. oil rises on surprise inventory drop, Brent up on
* Gold falls as Ukraine tensions ease; Fed in focus
* Nickel near 15-month high on supply concerns, aluminium
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(Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Richard Pullin)