SYDNEY, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Australian shares are likely to have a soft start on Tuesday, following a decline on Wall Street due to a lack of progress on ending the partial U.S. government shutdown and raising the U.S debt limit.
Investors will watch for local economic data and Chinese markets when the country opens after a week-long holiday.
* Local share price index futures fell 0.4 percent to 5,137, a 24.1-point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index close.
The benchmark dropped nearly 1 percent on Monday, weighed by lingering worries about the consequences of a prolonged U.S. debt battle.
* New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index dropped 0.3 percent to 4,740.4 in early trade.
* U.S. stocks fell on Monday, extending two weeks of losses, as a lack of progress in ending the partial U.S. government shutdown and the debt-ceiling standoff kept investors nervous.
* London copper stagnated on Monday on low volumes as investors paused to monitor developments at the LME Week industry event, while top consumer China was absent for the last day of its week-long break.
* Greater supply of iron ore and a subdued Chinese steel market may weigh on prices for the steelmaking raw material when China reopens after the holidays.
* Gold rose nearly 1 percent on Monday as the ongoing U.S. government shutdown and no signs politicians were willing to resolve a budget impasse and raise the debt-ceiling limit boosted the metal's safe-haven appeal.
* BHP Billiton said on Monday that it is returning workers who were evacuated due to storm Karen to its Gulf facilities and resuming normal operations.
* Air carrier Virgin Australia issued its first enhanced equipment note (EEN) on Monday, pricing the three-part US$732.62 million offering at the tight end of price talk and before Australian insolvency law changes come into force.
* Sims Metals Management Ltd has named Galdino Claro as its new chief executive.
* Australia's business confidence and job advertisements for September will be released at 0030 GMT.
----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2205 GMT ------------
INSTRUMENT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1676.12 -0.85% -14.380 USD/JPY 96.7 0.01% 0.010 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.6302 -- 0.000 SPOT GOLD 1322.91 0.12% 1.620 US CRUDE 103.13 0.10% 0.100 DOW JONES 14936.24 -0.90% -136.34 ASIA ADRS 145.26 -1.33% -1.95 -------------------------------------------------------------
* Wall St falls as no progress seen to resolve shutdown * Brent rises, U.S. oil recoups losses after pipeline resumes * Gold up about 1 pct on U.S. debt ceiling crisis, S&P down * Copper flat on low volumes as investors watch LME week
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(Australia/New Zealand bureaux; +61 2 9373 1800/+64 4 471 4234)
Reporting by Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by Eric Walsh