Jan 3 (Reuters) - Australian shares are set to open higher on Friday, as investor confidence improved after China announced fresh stimulus to prop up its economy, while energy and mining stocks are likely to rise. The local share price index futures rose 0.8%, a 14.6-point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index close. The benchmark finished 0.1% higher on Thursday. New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.08%by 2123 GMT. (Reporting by Nikhil Subba in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra Maler)
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