Australian shares set to open higher; NZ down as a2 Milk weighs

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 Dec 9 (Reuters) - Australian shares are likely to rise on
Monday after comments from a top White House official raised
optimism over China-U.S. trade talks ahead of an upcoming tariff
deadline. China's imports rose unexpectedly in November from a year
earlier, indicating signs of recovering demand in the world's
second-largest economy, even as exports fell for a fourth
straight month. Prospects of higher demand for commodities from Australia's
top trading partner will likely buoy domestic exporters. The local share price index futures rose 0.5%, a
31-point premium to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index close. The benchmark was up 0.4% on Friday. New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was down
0.4% by 2116 GMT. Dairy major a2 Milk Company slumped
about 7.4% after it said Chief Executive Jayne Hrdlicka had
stepped down. (Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter
Cooney) 

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