December 28, 2017 / 9:17 PM / a year ago

Australia shares set to remain flat at opening; NZ slips

    Dec 29 (Reuters) - Australian shares are expected to open
flat on Friday as tailwinds in the form of firm prices for oil
and metals are largely negated by muted trade in Wall Street
     U.S. stocks were little changed in light trading on
Thursday, as technology stocks continued to tread water and
offset gains in financials.     
    Oil prices edged up on Thursday, remaining near 2-1/2-year
highs after data showed strong Chinese demand for crude imports
and on increased U.S. refining activity, while benchmark copper
        hit its highest since January 2014.             
    The local share price index futures          fell 0.1
percent, or 5 points, to 6,041, a 47.1-point discount to the
underlying S&P/ASX 200 index         close. The benchmark added
0.3 percent on Thursday.
    New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index         meanwhile
fell as much as 0.1 percent in early trade on Friday, with the
health care and telecommunication services sectors influencing
the index's direction the most.

 (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru; Editing by Catherine
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