June 20, 2013 / 11:24 PM / 4 years ago

Australia shares to be hit again as global equities slump

SYDNEY, June 21 (Reuters) - Australian shares are set to extend sharp losses on Friday following Wall Street's biggest fall in more than 18 months, with investors worrying about the economic impact if the U.S. Federal Reserve starts to reduce its stimulus later this year.

* Local share price index futures dropped 1.7 percent to 4,629, a 129.4 point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index close. The benchmark dived 2.1 percent on Thursday, its largest one-day drop in four months.

* New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index dropped 1.2 percent in early trade.

* U.S. stocks fell more than 2 percent on Thursday, with the S&P 500 recording its biggest fall since November 2011.

* Copper fell to its lowest level in 20 months, hit by more signs that China's economy is slowing and the possibility of the Fed scaling back its stimulus.

* Gold plunged more than 5 percent to its lowest in three years.

* Shanghai steel futures slipped from three-week highs after weak manufacturing data from China.

* BHP Billiton said Japanese trading houses Itochu Corp and Mitui & Co Ltd will invest a combined $1.5 billion in its Jimblebar iron ore hub.

* Rio Tinto Ltd plans to start exporting copper from the $6.2 billion Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia on Friday, after resolving demands from the government, according to a new invitation to a ceremony received by Reuters.

* Shareholders of Intrepid Mines backed their board and its attempt to reclaim rights to a $5 billion copper and gold project in Indonesia, defeating a plan by a private equity investor to oust the board on Thursday.

----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2254 GMT ------------

INSTRUMENT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1588.19 -2.5% -40.740 USD/JPY 97.21 -0.06% -0.060 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.4209 -- 0.000 SPOT GOLD 1279.39 0.13% 1.650 US CRUDE 94.94 -0.21% -0.200 DOW JONES 14758.32 -2.34% -353.87 ASIA ADRS 129.52 -3.61% -4.85 -------------------------------------------------------------

* Wall St plunges, S&P posts biggest drop since Nov 2011 * Oil hit by biggest decline since Nov on Fed plan * Gold down 5 pct in global rout on Fed stimulus fears * Copper falls to 20-month low on Fed, weak China data

For a digest of the day's business stories in Australian newspapers, double click on (Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by John Mair)

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