Australian stocks to extend leads

After two days of solid gains, Australian stocks are expected to open stronger following strong leads from abroad.

The Australian stock market looks set to open higher after positive rallies on overseas markets as traders digested news of an unexpected drop in German unemployment, solid data from the US and comments from a top Federal Reserve official that the central bank would not hastily end its stimulus program..

At 0645 AEST on Friday, the September share price index futures contract was up 26 points at 4,800.

In economic news on Friday, the Reserve Bank of Australia is due to release financial aggregates for May.

In Perth, WA Premier Colin Barnett, BHP Billiton iron ore president Jimmy Wilson, Fortescue Metals Group chief executive Nev Power and Santos WA and NT vice president John Anderson are scheduled to speak at The Australian and Deutsche Bank Business Leaders Forum.

Graincorp chief executive Alison Watkins is scheduled to speak at American Chamber of Commerce lunch.

No major equities news is expected.

In Australia, the market on Thursday closed significantly higher for a second straight day as investors grew more confident about China's financial system.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 79.6 points, or 1.68 per cent, at 4,811.3 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 77.0 points, or 1.64 per cent, to 4,784.8 points.

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