February 3, 2014 / 9:51 PM / in 4 years

Australia shares set for drop after Wall St slumps, RBA meeting eyed

SYDNEY, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Australian stocks are set to drop
sharply on Tuesday morning, following a slump on Wall Street on
surprisingly weak U.S. manufacturing data, while investors also
watch for the Reserve Bank of Australia's policy meeting
    * Australian stock index futures fell 1.9 percent
to 5,046.0, a 141.9-point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200
index close. The benchmark dipped slightly to 5,187.9 on
    * New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index fell 1.3
percent in early trade to 4,785.1.
    * U.S. stocks slumped on Monday, with the S&P 500 suffering
its biggest drop since June, after weaker-than-expected data on
the factory sector provided investors with the latest reason to
move away from riskier assets.
    * Copper fell to a two-month low on Monday, with slowing
factory growth in China and the United States compounding a
deteriorating demand outlook.
    Gold rose more than 1 percent, as worries about global
economic growth bolstered an investor flight to safety.
    * Mining contractor Downer EDI Ltd said it was on
track to meet its forecast net profit of around A$215 million
for the 2014 financial year, after reporting half-year net
profit of A$99.1 million, from A$94.0 million a year ago.
    * Mining firm Cape Lambert Resources said it
expected to start construction on its flagship Marampa iron ore
project in Sierra Leone this year, pledging to employ locals and
fund services in the post-conflict African state.
    * Universal Coal PLC said it had agreed to acquire
New Clydesdale Colliery from Exxaro Resources Ltd,
South Africa's largest listed coal miner.
    * The Reserve Bank of Australia will hold its first
rate-setting policy meeting of the year on Tuesday.    
----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2138 GMT ------------
                    INSTRUMENT   LAST       PCT CHG   NET CHG
S&P 500                   1741.89     -2.28%   -40.700
USD/JPY                   100.93      -1.08%    -1.100
10-YR US TSY YLD     2.5752          --    -0.091
SPOT GOLD                 1256.46      1.07%    13.270
US CRUDE                  96.66       -0.85%    -0.830
DOW JONES                 16576.66    -2.08%     72.37
ASIA ADRS                135.74      -2.37%     -3.29
  * S&P posts biggest daily percentage decline since June  
  * U.S. oil falls $1, manufacturing data weighs; cold supports
  * Gold rises 1.1 pct after weak U.S., China data; S&P dives   
  * Copper hits 2-month low; China, U.S growth concerns drag    
    For a digest of the day's business stories in Australian 
newspapers, double click on    
 (Australia/New Zealand bureaux; +61 2 9373 1800/+64 4 471 

 (Reporting by Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)
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