December 18, 2017 / 9:24 PM / in a year

Australia shares set to open higher on U.S. tax hopes; NZ shares flat

    Dec 19 (Reuters) - Australian shares are expected to move
higher at Tuesday's opening, tracking optimism in U.S. stocks
related to tax reform and buttressed by strong oil and commodity
     U.S. stocks traded at record highs on Monday afternoon as
the Republican tax plan, which is set to cut corporate tax
rates, moved closer to passing.     
    Dalian iron ore futures           had climbed 7.1 percent to
536 yuan a tonne by Monday's close while Brent crude futures
        were up 27 cents at $63.50 a barrel at 1645 GMT.
    The local share price index futures          rose 0.5
percent, or 29 points, to 6,070, a 31.1-point premium to the
underlying S&P/ASX 200 index         close. The benchmark rose
0.7 percent on Monday.
    Meanwhile, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index        
was flat in early trade as gains in consumer staples stocks were
largely negated by losses in consumer discretionaries.
    Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp Ltd          was the index's
biggest drag as it slipped as much as 0.8 percent.
    The country is due to release data on its dairy prices
             later in the day.

 (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru; Editing by Catherine
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