Australia shares set to rise on record increase in jobs; NZ down

    July 17 (Reuters) - Australian shares are set to open higher
on Friday, cheered on by government stimulus and record
employment numbers in June, with investors looking past a rise
in the jobless rate.
    Though the jobless rate in June hit a 22-year high,
employment rose by a record as Australia emerged from
coronavirus-induced lockdowns.             
    Adding to sentiment, the Australian government is injecting
a further A$1.5 billion ($1.05 billion) into a wage subsidy
programme to counter rising unemployment.             
    The local share price index futures          rose 0.2%, a
20.9-point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index        
close. The benchmark fell 0.7% on Thursday. 
    New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index         fell 0.09%
in early trade. 

($1 = 1.4349 Australian dollars)

 (Reporting by Arundhati Dutta in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie