Aust stocks set to open higher

Local market expected to make modest early gains as global bourses await US jobs data.

The Australian stock market looks set to open slightly higher following a mixed performance on international markets as investors await key US jobs figures.

At 0645 AEDT, the December share price index futures contract was up six points at 5,342.

With the US government shutdown and default crisis out of the way for the time being, investors are now eyeing the delayed release of US non-farm payrolls data on Tuesday.

The figures, delayed because of the shutdown, will give investors a better idea of the state of the US economy and could have a bearing on when the Federal Reserve winds down its stimulus.

Locally, no major economic news is expected on Tuesday.

In equities news, BHP Billiton (BHP) and Oil Search (OSH) are expected to post quarterly production reports, while Mirvac Group (MGR) will release its first quarter market update.

Brambles Industries (BXB), Southern Cross Media Group (SXL), Bradken (BKN), McMillan Shakespeare (MMS), Bega Cheese (BGA) and Blackmores (BKL) all have annual general meetings scheduled.

In Australia, the market on Monday closed at a new five-and-a-half-year high, after US and European markets lifted at the end of last week as US government services were re-opened.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was UP 30.3 points, or 0.57%, higher at 5,351.8 points.

The broader All Ordinaries index was up 30.5 points, or 0.57%, at 5,351.5 points.

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