Australia shares seen firm boosted by US data

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Australia shares seen firm boosted by US data. (Reuters) Australia shares seen firm boosted by US data. (Reuters)
SummaryFocus will be on mining stocks after an abrupt shift in leadership at Rio Tinto.

Australian shares are set to open firm on Friday boosted by a strong close on Wall Street on better-than-expected housing and jobs data driving the S&P 500 to a five-year high.

Focus will be on mining stocks after an abrupt shift in leadership at Rio Tinto with chief executive Tom Albanese being replaced by iron ore head Sam Walsh following billions of dollars of write-offs on aluminium and coal assets.

GDP data from China, Australia's biggest export customer, will also be closely watched at 0200 GMT.

Local share index futures rose 34 points to 4,755, a 1.63 point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index close. The benchmark rose 18.18 points to 4,756.63 on Thursday.

Stronger-than-expected U.S. economic data not only propelled Wall Street to its highest since late 2007 but also boosted copper more than 1 percent. Platinum jumped to a three-month high, while U.S. crude for February rose $1.23 a barrel to $95.49.

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