Australian stocks are tipped to open higher at the start of the new trading week, extending a positive beginning to 2013.
CommSec chief economist Craig James says the local market would be buoyed by encouraging jobs data from the US, as well as rising iron ore prices, during the weekend offshore session.
"I think the optimism that we saw last week is going to continue into this week," Mr James said on Sunday.
"It is still very much in the holiday period, but there will be a few more people willing to trade and I think in a positive mindset."
Futures markets were pointing to a bright start, with the March share price index contract gaining 18 points to 4706 points during Friday night's session.
The S&P/ASX200 closed at a 19-month high last Thursday and was up about 1.6 per cent so far in 2013.
US stocks closed firmer - the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.33 per cent, the S&P500 climbed 0.49 per cent to finish at its highest level in five years and the NASDAQ advanced 0.04 per cent.
The US economy added 155,000 jobs in December, according to the US non-farm payrolls report, while the jobless rate was unchanged from the previous month at 7.8 per cent.
The result was in line with market expectations.
Separately, activity in the US non-manufacturing sector - covering areas such as retail, transport, mining and construction - rose unexpectedly in December.
In the week ahead, the Australian Bureau of Statistics was due to publish the November trade balance, as well as building approvals and retail sales data for the same month.
Private sector reports on business expectations, new home sales and conditions in the construction industry were also slated for publication.
It is still very much in the holiday period, but there will be a few more people willing to trade and I think in a positive mindset
Mr James said investors would be willing to look past any weak data given it was for November and there had been a number of positive developments since then, including the deal that averted the US fiscal cliff.
"We are starting the new year with a lot more confidence and confidence was the missing ingredient in our market last year," Mr James said.
"If you do get weak readings, I don't think people will naturally conclude the Reserve Bank has got to cut interest rates in February."
The Australian dollar finished the US trading session at 104.78 US cents, up from 104.43 US cents at Friday's local close.