Australia shares set for rocky commence as ECB underwhelms

SYDNEY, Dec four Australian shares appear set for a rough ride on Friday following policy easing by the European Central Bank disappointed investors' higher expectations, while a hike in U.S. interest rates seemed ever more likely this month. Stock markets across Europe and in the United States all fell sharply on Thursday. Oil costs managed a rare bounce but most other commodities stayed below stress. Pointing to a poor commence, share cost index futures slid 1.five percent to 5,155., a hefty discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index of five,2227. The benchmark eased .six % on Thursday. New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index fell .4 percent in early trade. For a summary of overnight action across worldwide markets, double click on For a digest of the day's organization stories in Australian newspapers, double click on (Reporting by Wayne Cole)