SYDNEY Aug 15 Australian shares are seen following Wall Street higher on Friday, with investor attention on the local earnings season as No. 3 bank Australia and New Zealand Banking Group reported a rise in quarterly profit.
* Local share price index futures rose 0.4 percent to 5,517.0, a 31.5-point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index close. The benchmark rose 0.6 percent on Thursday.
* New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index added 0.1 percent in early trade.
* Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd, the country's No. 3 bank by market value, on Friday reported an 8 percent rise in unaudited cash profit for the nine months to June led by strong loan growth and as its Asia business gained momentum.
* James Hardie Industries PLC , the world's biggest fiber cement products maker posted an 80 percent fall in fiscal first quarter net profit and revised down its full-year earnings due to an uncertain U.S. economic recovery.
* U.S. stocks advanced on Thursday after conciliatory comments from Russia helped ease concerns about escalation of the conflict in Ukraine and offset some uninspiring earnings.
* Copper fell to its lowest since late June on concerns about demand for the industrial metal after data showing euro zone economic growth ground to a halt in the second quarter and the Chinese property sector cooled.
* Gold prices were a touch higher in thin trading, but gains were limited by U.S. jobless claims data which showed continued recovery in the labor market and conciliatory comments from Russian President Vladimir Putin about Ukraine.
* Automotive Group Holdings Ltd said it has delivered a record operating profit, with a full year revenue of A$4.7 billion.
----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2303 GMT ------------
INSTRUMENT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1955.18 0.43% 8.460 USD/JPY 102.47 0.04% 0.040 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.4033 -- 0.000 SPOT GOLD 1312.46 -0.02% -0.280 US CRUDE 95.57 -0.01% -0.010 DOW JONES 16713.58 0.37% 61.78 ASIA ADRS 153.63 0.46% 0.70 -------------------------------------------------------------
* Wall St ends higher after Ukraine concerns ease * Brent falls below $104 after brief recovery from 13-month low * Gold edges up but gains capped by Putin, U.S. job data * Copper slips to 7-week low as European economies stumble
For a digest of the day's business stories in Australian newspapers, double click on (Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Richard Pullin)
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