Oct 26 (Reuters) - Australian shares are expected to open firmer on Monday buoyed by U.S. stimulus talks gathering momentum as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reiterated the need for a round of aid as soon as possible. The local share price index futures rose 0.3% or 18 points, a 12-point premium to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index close, as at 2144 GMT. The benchmark slipped 0.1% on Friday. Markets in New Zealand were closed for a holiday. (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; editing by Diane Craft)
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