Jan 7 (Reuters) - Australian shares are set to open higher on Tuesday, as energy and mining stocks continue to lift the benchmark, amid rising tensions in the Middle East after a U.S. air strike killed a top Iranian military commander. Oil prices edged higher and gold prices strengthened in safe haven buying, as fears of a wider conflict in the Middle East intensified following the attack last week. The local share price index futures rose 0.45%, a 32.7-point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index close. The benchmark inched 0.03% higher on Monday. New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index slipped 0.06% by 2125 GMT. (Reporting by Nikhil Subba in Bengaluru Editing by Chris Reese)
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