Australia shares set to open lower on dented rate cut hopes, NZ hits fresh high

    Dec 20 (Reuters) - Australian shares are set to fall on
Friday, a day after robust jobs data dampened expectations of a
rate cut by the Reserve Bank of Australia at its next policy
meeting in February.
    Data on Thursday showed Australian employment rebounded
sharply in November, while the jobless rate fell in a sign the
labour market might still have enough life in it to lessen the
need for more interest rate cuts.             
    The local share price index futures          fell 32 points
or 0.5%, a 1.4% discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index
        close. The benchmark fell 0.3% on Thursday.
    Elsewhere, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index        
rose 0.1% to 11,496.75, a new peak, by 2105 GMT.

 (Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru
Editing by Chris Reese)