SYDNEY, July 29 Australian shares are expected
to open flat on Tuesday after an uninspired performance on Wall
Street overnight, allowing investors to take a breather after
the market rallied to six-year highs last week.
* Local share price index futures dipped 0.1
percent, a 55.4-point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200
index close. The benchmark slipped 0.1 percent on
* New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index ticked 0.1
percent higher in early trade.
* U.S. stocks ended nearly flat overnight as the latest deal
news offset losses following discouraging data on the housing
market and some signs of weakness in the services sector.
* Copper was steady as investors weighed increased supply
from Indonesia against prospects for higher demand, while lead
was near a 1-1/2 year high, tracking related metal zinc.
* Gold was little changed as traders and investors awaited
the outcome of a Federal Reserve policy meeting.
* Monthly new home sales data from the Housing Industry
Australia is due later in the day.
* QBE Insurance Group Ltd said it expects net
profit after tax for the first half to be around A$390 million,
with its insurance profit margin likely to be 7 percent to 8
percent, compared with an expectation of around 10 percent.
* Wall St yawns as deal news offsets data; Herbalife sinks
* Oil lower on signs of excess supply, weak demand in Europe &
* Gold little changed, awaiting Fed meeting & U.S. jobs
* Copper steadies as more Indonesia supply offsets higher
For a digest of the day's business stories in Australian
newspapers, double click on
(Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)