January 8, 2014 / 10:11 PM / in 4 years

Australia shares seen slipping, await retail sales data

MELBOURNE, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Australian shares are set to
open a touch lower, tracking Wall Street, which barely reacted
to minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's December meeting
showing officials wanted to move cautiously on paring its
massive stimulus program.
    * Local share price index futures slipped 3 points
to 5,284.0, a 32-point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200
index close. The benchmark lost one point on Wednesday
to close at 5,316.
    * New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 0.2
percent to 4,789.5 in early trade. Top dairy firm Fonterra
 fell 1.5 percent to NZ$5.77 after French food group
Danone said it would start legal action against Fonterra.
    * On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 index ended nearly
flat on Wednesday as equities markets had a muted reaction to
the minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's most recent meeting,
while Micron's strong results helped boost the Nasdaq.
    * Copper fell on Wednesday on a firmer dollar after
better-than-expected U.S. jobs data and concerns about economic
recovery in top metal consumer China. Gold also fell.
    * French food group Danone said in a statement it
will start legal action against New Zealand dairy exporter
Fonterra following a false alert that sparked the
recall of infant formula.  
    * Retailers such as Myer, David Jones and
JB Hi-Fi will be in the frame with the release on
Thursday of Australia's November retail sales data.
------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2153 GMT ------------------
                    INSTRUMENT   LAST        PCT CHG   NET CHG
S&P 500                   1,837.49     -0.02%    -0.390
USD/JPY                   104.84        0.23%     0.240
10-YR US TSY YLD     2.9894         --       0.052
SPOT GOLD                 1,225.54     -0.01%    -0.170
US CRUDE                  92.52        -1.23%    -1.150
DOW JONES                 16,462.74    -0.41%   -68.20
ASIA ADRS                147.10        0.17%     0.25
  * S&P 500 ends flat after Fed minutes                     
  * U.S. oil loses $1 on Cushing build, Libya supports     
  * Gold falls on upbeat U.S. private job data            
  * Copper dips on firmer dollar, China growth worries   
    For a digest of the day's business stories in Australian 
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