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Australia shares to inch lower; NZ flat
February 22, 2017 / 9:15 PM / 10 months ago

Australia shares to inch lower; NZ flat

    Jan 23 (Reuters) - Australian shares are likely to edge
lower on Thursday, tracking Wall Street, which saw losses after
the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest meeting showed many
policymakers are of the view that an interest rate hike may come
"fairly soon".       
    The minutes of the Jan. 31-Feb. 1 discussion, at which the
U.S. central bank kept rates unchanged, also showed the depth of
uncertainty at the Fed over the new Trump administration's
economic programme.             
    Energy shares are expected to be under pressure as oil
prices fell overnight on expectations of another surge in U.S.
    On the other hand, a weaker U.S. dollar will lift commodity
prices, helping gold and copper stocks, while iron miners might
gain as Chinese iron ore futures stayed near record highs.
    The local share price index futures          fell 0.2
percent to 5,758 points, a 47.099-point discount to the
underlying S&P/ASX 200 index         close. The benchmark rose
0.24 percent and snapped a three-day losing streak in the
previous session.
    Investors will be also looking out for earnings of companies
like Qantas Airways         , Alumina Ltd          and Ramsay
Health Care         .
    New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index         was flat at
7,061.59 points in early trade.

 (Reporting by Suhail Hassan Bhat in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh

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