Aust stocks set to open higher

Local market tipped to post modest early gains as investors react to new govt.

The Australian stock market looks set to open modestly firmer as investors react to Tony Abbott's election victory and moderate US employment growth.

But the incoming coalition government's pledge to repeal the mining tax is not expected to boost resource giants BHP Billiton (BHP) and Rio Tinto (RIO) during early trading.

CommSec chief economist Craig James says finance groups offering novated car leasing, such as McMillan Shakespeare (MMS), are more likely to move higher as investors warm to a coalition pledge to reverse Labor's tightening of fringe benefit tax (FBT) rules.

"It had been rallying on the expectation of a coalition victory so there may be some further modest gains for the FBT and packaging-type companies," he said.

"They're the main short-term beneficiaries.

A coalition promise to repeal the mining tax is unlikely to help the resource giants since Labor's policy raised far less than the $2 billion it was forecast to amass in its first year.

"Really, the mining tax hasn't been a great earner for the government anyway so it's not a major consideration for the major miners," Mr James said.

With a coalition victory already factored in, investors are more likely to react to US Labour Department data showing 169,000 non-farm jobs were created in August.

While the American unemployment rate fell to 7.3%, the lowest since December 2008, the increase in payrolls was below market expectations of 177,000 new jobs, which contributed to a flat finish on Wall Street on Friday night.

But the Australian market is expected to post a 10 to 20-point – or roughly one-third of a percentage point – increase as investors see the modest US jobs growth as a positive sign.

"From the share market's point of view, the Federal Reserve will wind back monetary stimulus slowly in coming months: had it been a very strong result, it may have been a different outcome in terms of what the Federal Reserve does," Mr James said.

An acceleration in Chinese export growth, by 7.2% in August, may also excite investors because the recovery has occurred in the economy of Australia's largest trading partner.

The benchmark Australian S&P/ASX200 index gained 2.5 points, or 0.05 per cent, to end last week at 5,145 points.

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