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Australia shares look for drivers among mixed signals

CANBERRA, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Australian shares are likely to lack strong direction early on Tuesday, with support from higher iron ore prices and an improvement in China's services sector countered by losses in copper prices and concerns about the global growth outlook.

* Local share price index futures

rose 0.1 percent, or 6 points, to 4,485, a 3.1-point premium to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index

close. The benchmark fell 0.3 percent to 4,481.9 on Monday.

* China's services sector rebounded in September after its growth hit a one-year low in August, according to a private sector survey that followed last week's much more gloomy official assessment. The HSBC services sector Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 54.3 in September from 52.0 in August.

* China's economic growth is expected to weaken to 7.8 percent this year, the IMF said as it warned of risks to emerging Asia if the euro zone crisis worsens and the United States does not avoid its "fiscal cliff".

* U.S. stocks slipped in light trading on Monday, pulling back from recent five-year highs ahead of an earnings season expected to be weak.

* Copper prices slipped to their lowest level in more than a week on Monday, pressured by a firm dollar and persistent concerns about the outlook for demand from top consumer China.

* Alan Joyce, CEO of Qantas Airways Ltd

, may talk about the alliance between Qantas and Emirates in his address to the National Press Club in Canberra later on Tuesday.

* New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index

dipped 0.1 percent to 3,920.2 in early trade.

----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2143 GMT ------------

INSTRUMENT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1455.88 -0.35% -5.050 USD/JPY 78.29 -0.04% -0.030 10-YR US TSY YLD 1.7428 -- 0.000 SPOT GOLD 1774.83 -0.32% -5.650 US CRUDE 89.33 -0.61% -0.550 DOW JONES 13583.65 -0.19% -26.50 ASIA ADRS 119.73 -0.76% -0.92 -------------------------------------------------------------

* Wall St declines ahead of earnings season

* Oil dips on growth concerns, Middle east fears support

* Gold hit by largest 2-day fall since August

* Copper falls to week-low on strong dollar, demand uncertainty

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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