Australian shares are likely to be in consolidation mode on Thursday after the market posted its first close above 5,000 since the Lehman Brothers collapse in 2008.
* Australians stock index futures rose 2 points to 4,958.0, a 45.7-point discount to the 5,003.66 close of the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index on Wednesday.
* New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 0.2 percent to 4,229.3 early trade.
* U.S. stocks drifted in light volume on Wednesday, ending little changed, as investors remained cautious after the S&P 500 index briefly hit its highest intraday level since November 2007.
* Company results due on Thursday include conglomerate Wesfarmers, and miner Rio Tinto after the market closes.
* In early news, Alumina Ltd said it secured strategic investment of A$452 million from Citic Resources Holding Ltd.
* Mirvac Group said its first-half operating profit was A$194.2 million, though revenue from continuing operations fell to A$635 million from A$692.5 million. It reaffirmed full-year earnings guidance.
* Macmahon Holdings Ltd said it had received a new proposal from Sembawang Australia Pty Ltd to acquire its construction projects.
* Downer EDI Ltd said first half profit was A$94.04 million
* Wall St pauses after rally to 5-yr high
* Brent firm near $119, U.S. crude stocks rise
* Gold drops below $1,650, focus shifts to equities
* Copper dips on dollar, China demand eyed