March 2, 2014 / 10:26 PM / 4 years ago

Australia shares set for shaky start on Ukraine tension

SYDNEY, Mar 3 (Reuters) - Australian shares are set for a
shaky start on Monday, with investors worrying about tensions in
Ukraine after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared over the
weekend he had the right to invade the neighboring country.
    * Local share price index futures rose 0.4 percent
to 5,417.0, a 12.2-point premium to the underlying S&P/ASX 200
index close. The benchmark edged lower on Friday, but
posted a 4.1 percent gain for the month.
    Heightened geopolitical tensions are likely to erase gains
in the index futures, as Washington threatened to isolate Russia
economically after President Vladimir Putin declared he had the
right to invade his neighbor in Moscow's biggest confrontation
with the West since the Cold War. 
    * New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index fell 0.2
percent to 4,980.5 in early trade.
    * The S&P 500 ended at another record close on Friday but
well off the day's highs as worries about tensions in Ukraine
caused investors to take profits ahead of the weekend. 
    * Copper dipped on Friday to close the month little changed
on lingering worries over a slowdown in China though soothing
comments by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen limited
    * Output of gold in Australia, the world's No. 2 producer,
rose to its highest in a decade in 2013 as richer ores were
mined to combat weak bullion prices, a survey released on Sunday
    * Australia's Transpacific Industries Group Ltd 
said on Monday it had agreed to sell its New Zealand waste
management business to the Beijing Municipal Government's
Beijing Capital Group for NZ$950 million ($798 million).
    * All 19 economists polled by Reuters see the Reserve Bank
of Australia keeping its cash rate on hold at a record low of
2.50 percent at its monthly policy meeting on March 4.
----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2203 GMT ------------
                    INSTRUMENT   LAST       PCT CHG   NET CHG
S&P 500                   1859.45      0.28%     5.160
USD/JPY                   101.64      -0.16%    -0.160
10-YR US TSY YLD     2.6529          --     0.000
SPOT GOLD                 1327.22      0.00%     0.000
US CRUDE                  102.65       0.24%     0.250
DOW JONES                 16321.71     0.30%     49.06
ASIA ADRS                143.90      -0.41%     -0.59
  * S&P ends at record but off day's high on Ukraine worries    
  * U.S. oil prices rise as Bakken crude rail shipments fall    
  * Gold down for day, but posts biggest monthly gain since July
  * Copper flat on month as China worries erase gains   
    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 Chris Reese)
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