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Australia shares seen up on strong U.S. data, China stimulus hopes
April 1, 2014 / 9:43 PM / 4 years ago

Australia shares seen up on strong U.S. data, China stimulus hopes

SYDNEY, April 2 (Reuters) - Australian shares are set to open higher on Wednesday, following gains on Wall Street led by strong U.S. economic data, while weak manufacturing data from China reinforced expectations of stimulus policy from Australia’s biggest export market.

* Local share price index futures rose 0.5 percent to 5,409.0, a 19.8-point premium to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index close. The benchmark slipped 0.1 percent on Tuesday.

* New Zealand’s benchmark NZX 50 index slipped 0.1 percent to 5,116.1 in early trade.

* U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday for a third straight session, with the S&P 500 ending at a record close after positive data on factory activity indicated economic growth was gaining traction following a harsh winter.

* Copper steadied on Tuesday as weak manufacturing data from top consumer China reinforced expectations that the country could stimulate its flagging economy and boost demand for industrial metals.

* BHP Billiton is weighing a range of options to simplify its portfolio of assets, including a possible spin-off of unwanted businesses such as aluminium and nickel into a separate company, the top global miner said on Tuesday.

* Australia’s central bank kept rates at record lows on Tuesday, saying policy would remain stimulative in order to boost demand and offset the drag from a cooling mining sector.

* Australian food producer Goodman Fielder Ltd said it expects normalized EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) for full year 2014 to be about 10 percent to 15 per cent below current analysts’ consensus of about A$180 million.

----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2127 GMT ------------

INSTRUMENT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1885.52 0.7% 13.180 USD/JPY 103.66 0.02% 0.020 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.7553 -- 0.031 SPOT GOLD 1278.26 -0.42% -5.380 US CRUDE 99.74 -1.81% -1.840 DOW JONES 16532.61 0.46% 74.95 ASIA ADRS 143.74 0.85% 1.21 -------------------------------------------------------------

* S&P 500 closes at record after manufacturing data * Brent plunges to 5-month low on China, Europe factory data

* Gold falls to seven-week low on strong U.S. factory data

* Copper steady as weak China data reinforces stimulus prospects

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)

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