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Australian shares poised to begin the week lower; NZ inches up

Jan 13 (Reuters) – Australian shares are set to open lower on Monday on the possibility of renewed tensions between the United States and Iran, while weaker iron ore prices are likely to pressure heavyweight mining stocks. The United States imposed more sanctions on Iran on Friday in retaliation for its missile attack on U.S. forces in Iraq, while Washington also turned down an Iraqi request to pull out its troops. The local share price index futures fell 0.8% to 6,817, a 112-point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index close. The benchmark ended up 0.8% to touch a record high of 6,929 on Friday. New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.1% or 15.64 points to 11,567.34 by 2131 GMT. (Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru)

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