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oil stocks will rise

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    Aussie stocks seen up on US; energy firms may rise
    Monday Jul 9 08:08 AEST
    SYDNEY, July 9 (Reuters) - Australian shares are set for a firmer start on Monday, buoyed by gains on Wall Street, while a surge in oil prices is likely to boost energy firms.

    Miner Rio Tinto Ltd. may be in focus after reports on Friday it was considering gate-crashing Alcoa Inc.'s $28.6 billion hostile bid for Alcan Inc. [ID:nL06122459].

    Guy Hutchings, chief investment officer at MFS Investment Management Ltd, said he expects the Australian market to open up as much as 20 points on Monday.

    "In the week ahead, the positive trend positive of U.S. economic strength is likely to become clearer with the release of consumer sentiment and retails sales data," Hutchings said.

    On Friday, Australia's benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index <.AXJO> fell 0.2 percent, or 11.2 points, to 6,351.1, after rising 1 percent in the previous session.

    The index rose 1.2 percent on the week, taking its total gains since the start of the year to 12 percent.

    The September share price index futures rose 41 points to 6,403.0 in after-hours trade -- a 51.9 point premium to the underlying index.

    New Zealand's benchmark NZX-50 Index <.NZ50> inched up 1.88 points to 4,225.41 in early trade. The top stock, Telecom Corp. of New Zealand Ltd. was up 0.2 percent at NZ$4.63.

    In Australia, energy firms such as Woodside Petroleum Ltd. may gain after London Brent crude touched an 11-month high above $76 a barrel on Friday as Nigerian disruptions and OPEC output cuts stirred supply concerns amid rising U.S. refiner demand [ID:nSP280166].

    ANZ job advertisements survey data for June is due at 11:30 a.m (0130 GMT). ($1=A$1.17) ($1=NZ$1.28)
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