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Australasia, News

Australia shares set to open lower on soft commodity prices; NZ up

Dec 19 (Reuters) – Australian shares are set to slip on Thursday, with an overnight slump in gold and iron prices likely to hurt the benchmark’s heavyweight miners of the commodities. Chinese iron ore futures slipped nearly 1% overnight on easing supply concerns, while gold prices also fell amid strength in the dollar on robust U.S. economic data. The local share price index futures fell 12 points or 0.2%, a 5.4-point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index close. The benchmark closed nearly 0.1% higher on Wednesday. Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.1% to 11,346.47 by 2103 GMT. (Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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