February 21, 2018 / 9:20 PM / in a year

Australian shares set to open flat; NZ gains

    Feb 22 (Reuters) - Australian shares are expected to remain
flat at Thursday's open, following a muted performance on Wall
Street and a slip in U.S. crude futures.
     U.S. stocks closed lower on Wednesday in a rocky session
after the release of the minutes from the Federal Reserve's
January meeting pushed yields on the benchmark 10-year U.S.
Treasury note             to a four-year high.     
     Meanwhile, West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) futures
       fell 0.2 percent. U.S. crude inventories were forecast to
have risen for the fourth consecutive week, an extended Reuters
poll showed.      
     Australian share price index futures          rose 2 
points, to 5,916, a 27.7-point discount to the underlying
S&P/ASX 200 index         close. The benchmark posted meagre
gains on Wednesday.
    Meanwhile, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index        
rose 1 percent in early trade, primarily due to consumer
    The main index's biggest prop was a2 Milk Company Ltd
        , which jumped as much as 8 percent. The stock set an
all-time high for a second straight day. On Wednesday, the firm
reported a record first half profit due to higher demand in

 (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru; editing by Andrew
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