Oct 19 (Reuters) - Australian shares are expected to rise on Monday as Victoria state easing its lockdown on declining coronavirus cases is likely to lift the mood, helped by U.S. officials saying a new stimulus package could be passed before elections. The local share price index futures rose 0.6%, a 26.2-point premium to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index close, as at 2102 GMT. The benchmark fell 0.5% on Friday. New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.2% in early trade. (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Daniel Wallis)
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