Australia shares seen nudging higher, retail sales eyed
* Local share price index futures rose 0.4 percent to 4,864, an 18.7-point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index close. The benchmark fell 0.5 percent on Tuesday.
* New Zealand's market is closed for the Waitangi Day public holiday.
* U.S. stocks climbed on Tuesday, recovering a day after the market's biggest sell-off since November, buoyed by stronger-than-expected earnings and data showing further expansion in the massive U.S. services sector.
* Copper prices slipped as concerns about political stability in Italy and Spain prompted caution among investors, but spot iron ore prices hit a three-week high as traders and Chinese steel mills stocked up ahead of next week's Lunar New Year holidays.
* Retail sales data at 0030 GMT will be eyed for signs of whether Australian consumers are increasing spending following 125 basis points of interest rate cuts last year. The Reserve Bank of Australia left rates unchanged at a record low of 3 percent on Tuesday, saying the impact of past cuts had yet to be felt.
* Alan Joyce, the chief executive of Qantas Airways Ltd , gives his first speech since the airline outlined its Asian strategy earlier this year.
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