April 14, 2014 / 11:26 PM / 4 years ago

Australia shares seen higher, Rio Tinto Q1 shipments may weigh

SYDNEY, April 15 (Reuters) - Australian shares are seen rebounding modestly after a slide in the previous session as Wall Street closed higher overnight, though investors may exercise some caution ahead of the release of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s policy meeting minutes later in the day.

The market may also be hampered by index heavyweight Rio Tinto Ltd , after the world’s No.2 iron ore producer posted an 8 percent drop in first quarter shipments compared with the previous quarter owing to weather related interruptions in Australia and Canada.

* Local share price index futures rose 0.5 percent, a 11.1-point premium to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index close. The benchmark slid 1.3 percent on Monday, its biggest decline in a month.

* New Zealand’s benchmark NZX 50 index rose 0.2 percent in early trade.

* U.S. stocks closed higher on Monday on Citigroup’s earnings and strong retail sales, and despite a resurgence of geopolitical uncertainties.

* Nickel hit its highest in nearly 14 months on Indonesia’s ore export ban, now in its third month, and on the prospect of tougher sanctions on Russia over its actions towards Ukraine. Gold rose to a three-week high on its increased safe-haven appeal.

* Nufarm Ltd said it will close a manufacturing plant in New Zealand to gain annualised savings of A$3 million.

----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2307 GMT ------------

INSTRUMENT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1830.61 0.82% 14.920 USD/JPY 101.87 0.05% 0.050 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.65 -- 0.000 SPOT GOLD 1326.09 0.00% -0.010 US CRUDE 103.51 -0.52% -0.540 DOW JONES 16173.24 0.91% 146.49 ASIA ADRS 141.85 1.16% 1.63 -------------------------------------------------------------

* Wall St ends up after Citi results, retail sales * Brent up over $1.50, Ukraine concerns sharply escalate * Gold rises on renewed Ukraine tension, palladium jumps * Nickel hits 14-mth peak on export ban, Russia sanctions prospects

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(Australia/New Zealand bureaux; +61 2 9373 1800/+64 4 471 4234)

Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Edwina Gibbs

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