Australia shares set to gain on iron ore, copper miners; NZ down

    Jan 8 (Reuters) - Australian shares are set to open higher
on Wednesday, likely boosted by copper and iron ore miners on
the back of stronger commodity prices, although gains may be
capped by the energy sector amid falling crude prices.
    Prices of iron ore rose overnight as one of China's top
steel making cities lifted a smog alert and commenced operation,
stoking hope of higher demand for the commodity. Copper prices
also amid falling inventories.                   
    The local share price index futures          rose 7 points
or 0.1%, a 55.4-point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200
index         close. The benchmark rose 1.4% on Tuesday.
    Across the Tasman sea, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50
index         fell 0.02% or 2.22 points in early trade.

 (Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru; 
Editing by Sandra Maler)