August 23, 2017 / 10:43 PM / a year ago

Australia shares set to edge higher, NZ down

    Aug 24 (Reuters) - Australian shares are likely to edge
higher at open on Thursday, supported by gains in material
stocks backed by strong prices, while political uncertainties in
the United States are expected to weigh on sentiment.
    Nickel prices surged to an eight-month high on Wednesday on
expectations of strong demand from top consumer China, while
zinc touched its highest since August 2007.        
    Meanwhile, shares on Wall Street closed lower in the
previous session after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to
shut down the government if Congress fails to fund a Mexico
border wall.     
    The local share price index futures          rose 0.1
percent, or 8 points to 5,704, a 33.2-point discount to the
underlying S&P/ASX 200 index         close. The benchmark fell
0.2 percent on Wednesday.
    New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index         fell 0.1
percent or 9.36 points to 7,870.1 at 2236 GMT.

 (Reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Editing by Chris
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