February 19, 2014 / 10:06 PM / in 4 years

Australia shares seen pausing after recent rally, eyes on earnings

SYDNEY, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Australian stocks are set to edge
lower on Thursday morning, pulling back from a rally that sent
the market to near three-month highs after Wall Street ended
lower after the release of minutes from the latest Federal
Reserve meeting, with investors also taking direction from a
slew of corporate earnings.
    * Local share price index futures slipped 0.3
percent to 5,361.0, a 47.2-point discount to the underlying
S&P/ASX 200 index close. The benchmark rose 0.3 percent
on Wednesday.
    * New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index fell 0.7
percent to 4,878.6 in early trade.
    * U.S. stocks fell on Wednesday in a late selloff as minutes
of the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest policy-setting meeting
indicated that stimulus will continue to be trimmed unless there
is a big economic surprise.
    * Copper was broadly flat on Wednesday as concerns about the
demand outlook in top consumer China were offset by a weaker
dollar and near-term tightness in stocks.
    * Australia's AMP Ltd said on Thursday its
full-year profit fell 10.6 percent, missing analyst expectations
as a decline in shareholder fund investment income and lapses in
life insurance policies outweighed strong growth in wealth
    * Fairfax Media said its first-half net profit 
fell nearly 50 percent to A$193.8 million. 
    * Leighton Holdings will report its 2013 full year
results on Thursday, and Origin Energy will release its
first-half results.
----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2159 GMT ------------
                    INSTRUMENT   LAST       PCT CHG   NET CHG
S&P 500                   1828.75     -0.65%   -12.010
USD/JPY                   102.3       -0.05%    -0.050
10-YR US TSY YLD     2.741           --     0.031
SPOT GOLD                 1310.84     -0.03%    -0.410
US CRUDE                  103.41       0.96%     0.980
DOW JONES                 16040.56    -0.56%    -89.84
ASIA ADRS                143.85      -0.53%     -0.76
  * Wall St ends lower after late selloff on Fed view      
  * U.S. crude hits 4-month high as cold fuels diesel demand    
  * Gold falls nearly 1 percent after Fed minutes        
  * Copper steady as tight stocks offset China demand concerns  
    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 Leslie Adler)

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