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Aust share market set for higher start

AAP logoAAP 7/08/2016

The Australian share market is set to start the week higher after a positive lead from Wall Street on Friday.

The share price index is likely to open 31 points higher, AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver says.

CommSec chief economist Craig James expects investors to be confident after surprisingly strong US jobs growth - with 255,000 created in July compared to the 180,000 predicted.

"It shows the US economy is travelling okay - the boost to the US share market is likely to provide a positive start to ours," he told AAP.

The Australian dollar is sitting a little over 76 cents after falling about 0.5 per cent on Friday because of a stronger greenback.

Mr James said Chinese economic data, to be released from Monday, is unlikely to hold any surprises.

"We'll see the data show the Chinese economy growing at a reasonable pace - nothing flash but nothing of great concern provided most of the figures don't surprise," he said.

Iron ore prices rallied on Friday, jumping 2.1 per cent, while oil, gold and copper fell slightly in response to US data.

Iron ore is not expected to fall below $US60 a tonne.

Results for 23 major companies, including Commonwealth Bank and Telstra, from Monday are expected to show weak profit growth, Dr Oliver said.

"In the last six months there's been a downgrade in profit growth expectations in Australia and, therefore, expectations are fairly low, so I expect companies well be able to meet expectations relatively easily," he said.

"If profit results are in line with or slightly better than expectations, that will add to profits for the year ahead, confidence will rise which will in turn help list the share market."

Dr Oliver also expected to see increased consumer confidence in the Westpac consumer confidence index on Wednesday.

"I expect the combination of stalled political uncertainty in Canberra and lowered interest rates (1.5 per cent) will drive up consumer confidence," he said.

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