Oct 19 Australian shares are expected to open slightly higher on Wednesday, after upbeat earnings by U.S. companies Goldman Sachs Group and UnitedHealth Group Inc bolstered Wall Street stocks. Of the 52 S&P 500 companies that have reported third-quarter results to date, 81 percent had beaten analysts average estimates, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The local share price index futures rose 0.2 percent to 5,404 points, a 6.8-point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index close. The benchmark snapped four sessions of losses on Tuesday and closed up 0.4 percent, or 22.12 points, at 5,410.8. New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.16 percent, or 11.2 points, to 6984.26 in early trade. For a summary of overnight action across global markets, double click on For a digest of the day's business stories in Australian newspapers, double click on (Reporting by Suhail Hassan Bhat in Bengaluru; editing by Diane Craft)
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