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Australia shares seen higher after rate cut

CANBERRA, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Australian shares are set to open higher on Wednesday, extending recent gains after the Reserve Bank of Australia cut its main cash rate, although uncertainty over Europe's debt crisis and China's growth will still weigh on investor sentiment.

* Local share price index futures

rose 0.4 percent to 4,451, a 18 point premium to the close of underlying S&P/ASX 200 index

. The benchmark rallied 1 percent to 4,433 on Tuesday, its highest close since May.

* The Reserve Bank cut interest rates by a quarter point to a three-year trough of 3.25 percent on Tuesday, saying a darker global background, falling export prices and a high currency had all dimmed the economic outlook at home.

.

* New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index

was up 0.2 percent to 3,881 in early trade.

* U.S. stocks ended little changed after a volatile session as uncertainty over Spain shackled a market struggling to build on gains that took the S&P 500 to its highest in nearly five years.

* Copper crept higher on Tuesday for a fourth day of gains as the dollar fell and funds bought, but the upside was capped by Europe's debt crisis and uncertainty ahead of key data.

* Australian bionic ear maker Cochlear Ltd

won a A$100 million contract with the Chinese government earlier this year, the Australian Financial Review said. The company is currently bidding for a five-year contract worth A$600 million.

* Data on the August trade balance will be released on Wednesday.

----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2218 GMT ------------

INSTRUMENT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1445.75 0.09% 1.260 USD/JPY 78.16 0.03% 0.020 10-YR US TSY YLD 1.6198 -- 0.000 SPOT GOLD 1773.89 -0.06% -1.110 US CRUDE 91.71 -0.20% -0.180 DOW JONES 13482.36 -0.24% -32.75 ASIA ADRS 120.13 -0.22% -0.26 -------------------------------------------------------------

* Wall St slips on Spain, earnings worries

* Oil falls on economic concerns, supply dears limit drop

* Gold ends flat near 2012 high, US payrolls eyed

* Copper edges up as dollar softens, data in focus

For a digest of the day's business stories in Australian newspapers, double click on

(Reporting By Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by John Mair)

((maggie.luyueyang@thomsonreuters.com)(+61 2 6273 3700)(Reuters Messaging: maggie.luyueyang.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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