May 6, 2014 / 11:26 PM / in 4 years

Australia shares set to open lower, Wall St & metals demand outlook weigh

SYDNEY, May 7 (Reuters) - Australian stocks are set for a weak start on Wednesday, tracking a fall on Wall Street and on uncertainty over metals demand.

* Local share price index futures fell 0.5 percent to 5,447.0, a 34.4-point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index close. The benchmark rose 0.4 percent on Tuesday underpinned by gains in banks and consumer shares.

* New Zealand’s benchmark NZX 50 index fell 0.4 percent to 5,153.3 in early trade.

* U.S. stocks fell broadly on Tuesday, closing at session lows, with AIG pulling financial shares lower after disappointing earnings and as a slide in Twitter took down other names in the technology and internet space.

* Nickel rebounded on Tuesday after two days of losses as worries persisted about supply from Russia and Indonesia, while stainless steel buyers also fuelled the rally.

* Shanghai steel rebar futures came off the day’s highs to end nearly flat on Tuesday, reflecting uncertainty over whether seasonal demand will pick up strongly with China’s economy on shaky ground.

* Shopping mall giant Westfield Group said late on Tuesday it would improve the terms of its merger for shareholders of Westfield Retail Trust by A$300 million.

* Australian packaging group Amcor Ltd on Wednesday announced the acquisition of Indonesian flexible packaging company Bella prima Packaging for A$27 million.

* Australia will release retail sales data later on the day.

-------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 23:04 GMT ------------------

INSTRUMENT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,867.63 -0.51% -9.540 USD/JPY 101.68 0.01% 0.010 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.759 -- -0.007 SPOT GOLD $1,308.10 -3.06% -41.240 US CRUDE $99.84 -0.19% 0.340 DOW JONES 16351.25 -0.41% -67.43 ASIA ADRS 141.93 -0.92% -1.32 -------------------------------------------------------------

* Wall St falls in broad selloff; Twitter tumbles * U.S. crude rises after settlement on report of falling stocks * Gold eases as physical demand lags; Ukraine eyed * Nickel rebounds on supply worries, stainless steel

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 4234)

Reporting by Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by Shri Navaratnam

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