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 Adler)
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