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Australia, New Zealand: Shares ease on weakness in banks, miners

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[SYDNEY] Australian and New Zealand shares fell on Wednesday, as investors took profits in banks, miners and energy stocks, but surprisingly strong Australian first quarter economic growth helped stem market losses.

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed down 1.03 per cent to 5,323.20 after having touched a low of 5,306.3 earlier in the session.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index shed 0.24 per cent, or 17.01 points, to finish the session at 7022.4 as the market reset after heavy month-end trading on Tuesday.

REUTERS