Sept 14 (Reuters) - Australian shares are set to open flat to marginally higher on Monday as escalating political tension with China continues to weigh on sentiment, while a gradual easing of coronavirus-related curbs in Victoria is likely to provide some relief. The local share price index futures rose 0.07%, a 7.4-point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index close. The benchmark lost 0.8% on Friday, and gave up about 1.1% over the past week, marking its fourth straight weekly decline. Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.3% in early trade. (Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Cooney)
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