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Australia shares up 0.3 pct ahead of RBA meeting

Monday, 1 Oct 2012 | 8:16 PM ET

(Updates with opening levels)

MELBOURNE, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Australian shares opened 0.3 percent higher on Tuesday, with investors on tenterhooks ahead of a central bank rate decision and resources stocks helped by stronger-than-expected U.S. manufacturing data.

The S&P/ASX 200 index

rose 14.9 points to 4,403.5 at 0012 GMT. The benchmark ended flat on Monday.

The Reserve Bank of Australia reviews policy settings on Tuesday and while a majority of economists expect it will keep interest rates steady, some see a real chance of a quarter-point cut.

Interbank futures

have narrowed the odds, factoring in around a 70 percent chance of a 25 basis point-cut to 3.25 percent. Economists are less convinced, with 13 of 19 surveyed by Reuters forecasting the RBA will keep rates on hold.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index

rose 0.6 percent to 3,853.

(Reporting by Victoria Thieberger; Editing by Eric Meijer)

((victoria.thieberger@thomsonreuters.com)(+61 3 9286 1421)(Reuters Messaging: victoria.thieberger.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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Keywords: MARKETS AUSTRALIA STOCKS/