Aust stocks set to open higher

Local market expected to follow Wall Street gains in early trade.

The Australian stock market looks set to open higher following gains on Wall Street despite a three-hour shutdown of the Nasdaq market that disrupted trade on other exchanges as well.

United States markets' rise followed news that eurozone business activity picked up sharply in August, hitting a 26-month high point as the economy climbed out of a record recession.

And the HSBC's PMI for China's manufacturing sector jumped to 50.1 in August, up from July's 11-month low of 47.7.

At 0645 AEST, locally, the September share price index futures contract was up 38 points at 5,077.

No major economic news is expected on Friday.

In equities news, Lend Lease (LLC), Crown (CWN), Mirvac (MGR), Sims Metal Management (SGM) and IOOF Holdings (IFL) are expected to post full-year results.

In Australia, the market on Thursday fell as local investors followed offshore leads and sold riskier stocks, including those in resources companies.

The the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 24.3 points, or 0.48 per cent, lower at 5,075.7.

The broader All Ordinaries index was down 23.6 points, or 0.46 per cent, at 5,066.7.

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