February 17, 2013 / 10:40 PM / in 5 years

Australia shares seen opening flat, eyeing China demand

SYDNEY, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Australian shares are seen
starting with a flat tone on Monday as blue chips Commonwealth
Bank of Australia and Telstra Corp Ltd trade
ex-dividend, while miners are likely to climb as top buyer China
returns from holiday.
    * Local share price index futures rose 0.3 percent
to 5,008, a 25.9 point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200
index close. The benchmark edged down 3 points to
5,033.9 on Friday, but rose 1.3 percent for the week to extend
the market's bull-run to a fifth week.  
    * New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 0.3
percent to 4,208.0 in early trade.
    * The S&P 500 dipped on Friday as Wal-Mart dropped following
a report of a weak start to February sales, and the index just
barely extended its streak of weekly gains to seven. 
    * Copper dipped as the dollar rose, outperformed again by
aluminium and zinc, but investors hoped a surge of buying will
emerge when Chinese participants return from holiday this week. 
    * Australian packaging group Amcor Ltd reported a
better-than-expected 5.7 percent rise in first-half underlying
profit, buoyed by its Aperio food packaging acquisition last
year and despite battling currency headwinds. 
    * Both Commonwealth Bank of Australia and
telecommunication giant Telstra Corp Ltd will be
trading ex-dividend on Monday.

----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2206 GMT ------------
                    INSTRUMENT   LAST       PCT CHG   NET CHG
S&P 500                   1519.79      -0.1%    -1.590
USD/JPY                   93.82        0.36%     0.340
10-YR US TSY YLD     2.0052          --     0.000
SPOT GOLD                 1609.19      0.00%     0.000
US CRUDE                  96.04       -1.31%    -1.270
DOW JONES                 13981.76     0.06%      8.37
ASIA ADRS                136.35      -0.34%     -0.46
  * Wall St ends slightly down, S&P positive for 7th week  
  * Oil sinks, Brent headed for first wkly loss since Jan 
  * Gold drops over 3.7 pct in week on technical selling 
  * Copper falls, aluminium up as market awaits Chinese 
    For a digest of the day's business stories in Australian 
newspapers, double click on    

 (Reporting by Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by John Mair)

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