January 29, 2013 / 10:23 PM / 5 years ago

Australia shares may run into profit-taking after rally

MELBOURNE, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Australian shares may find it
hard on Wednesday to extend gains beyond a 21-month high as
investors look to skim profits at the end of the month, although
miners buoyed by China's growth outlook could stem any falls.
     
    * Stock index futures were steady at 4,852.0, a
37-point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index.
On Tuesday, the benchmark index rose 1.1 percent to its highest
since April 2011.
    * New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 0.2
percent to 4,210.4 in early trade.
    * U.S. stocks advanced on Tuesday, led by defensive sectors,
in a sign the cash piles recently moving into the market are
being put to use by cautious investors to pick up more gains.
    * Copper edged up as optimism about economic recovery
gathered pace following comments over growth in top consumer
China, though gains were limited by improved supply prospects
and caution ahead of a Federal Reserve policy meeting.
    * Supermarkets-to-hardware retailer Wesfarmers said 
December quarter sales at its Coles supermarket chain rose 5.2
percent from a year earlier. 

----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2138 GMT ------------
                    INSTRUMENT   LAST       PCT CHG   NET CHG
S&P 500                   1507.84      0.51%     7.660
USD/JPY                   90.73       -0.12%    -0.110
10-YR US TSY YLD     1.9991          --     0.034
SPOT GOLD                 1663.21      0.54%     8.870
US CRUDE                  97.37        0.96%     0.930
DOW JONES                 13954.42     0.52%     72.49
ASIA ADRS                135.39       1.36%      1.82
-------------------------------------------------------------   
                                                        
        
  * Defensive sectors lead Wall Street higher              
  * Positive U.S. housing data pushes oil prices up       
  * Gold rises, ending four-day slide; FOMC eyed         
  * Copper up on growth hopes, caution prevails         
    
    For a digest of the day's business stories in Australian 
newspapers, double click on    

 (Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by John Mair)

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