Australia shares seen treading water, eyes on BOJ meeting

Australia shares

Australian shares are seen treading water at the open on Tuesday, with investors awaiting the outcome of the Bank of Japan's policy meeting, which is expected to announce aggressive asset buying plans to stimulate the economy.

* Local share price index futures dipped 0.1 percent to 4,739.0, a 37.5-point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index. The benchmark inched up 0.1 percent to hit a 20-month high of 4,777.5 on Monday.

* New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index lost 0.1 percent, or 2.3 points, to 4,183.0 in early trade.

* US stocks markets were closed for a public holiday on Monday.

* Copper was little changed in thin trade on Monday as a political attempt to break a budget impasse in the United States revived risk appetite, but was offset by still weak physical demand from top consumer China.

* Iron ore prices may struggle to regain their January peaks, as an increase in global supply is expected to outpace a recovery in demand from top importer China, a Reuters poll showed.

* Mining firms including BHP Billiton and Anglo American are likely to follow Rio Tinto's lead in writing down underperforming assets by as much as $10 billion, as low prices and rising costs eat into valuations.

* Investors will watch closely for the outcome of the Japanese central bank's policy meeting, which might consider aggressive monetary measures to stimulate the economy.

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