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Australia shares seen down, index back below 4,500

MELBOURNE, Oct 10 - Australian shares may ease from 14-month highs on Wednesday after U.S. stocks fell on concerns over third-quarter earnings, although energy companies may be boosted by a sharp rise in oil prices.

* Local share price index futures

fell 0.8 percent, or 34 points to 4,475, a 30.3-point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index

close. The benchmark rose 0.5 percent to 4,505.3 on Tuesday.

* New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index

fell 0.4 percent to 3,892.9 points in early trade.

* U.S. stocks fell as worries increased about third-quarter U.S. earnings.

* Energy companies such as Woodside Petroleum

may gain after benchmark Brent gained more than 2 percent to top $114 a barrel for the first time since Sept. 18.

* Mining stocks may fall after Rio Tinto

Chief

Executive Tom Albanese said the company would step up cost cuts because of an uncertain near-term outlook.

"We are more cautious on the outlook for the next few quarters for our business than we would have been a couple of months ago," Albanese said in London.

.

* Copper prices were little changed while gold fell for a third consecutive session as a warning by the International Monetary Fund on global growth and worries about a slowing Chinese economy lessened bullion's appeal as an inflation hedge.

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

INSTRUMENT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1441.48 -0.99% -14.400 USD/JPY 78.25 0.03% 0.020 10-YR US TSY YLD 1.7132 -- 0.000 SPOT GOLD 1764.39 0.04% 0.740 US CRUDE 92.22 -0.18% -0.170 DOW JONES 13473.53 -0.81% -110.12 ASIA ADRS 118.12 -1.34% -1.61 -------------------------------------------------------------

* Wall St falls in tech-led sell-off, Alcoa up late

* Oil rises 2 pct on Mideast tension, Saudi comments eyed

* Gold drops for third day on worries of slowdown

* Copper steady; fears offset China stimulus hopes

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

(Reporting by Miranda Maxwell; Editing by John Mair)

((miranda.maxwell@reuters.com)(Reuters Messaging: miranda.maxwell.reuters.com@reuters.net)(+61-3 9286-1464))

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