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Australia, NZ: Aussie shares end flat as basic materials weigh while NZ closes higher

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[BENGALURU] Australian shares ended flat on Friday in lacklustre trade, dragged down by stocks of basic materials companies, while a rise in crude oil prices supported energy shares.

The S&P/ASX 200 index was 0.03 per cent lower at 5,434 at the close of trade. The index fell 0.6 per cent on the week.

Large cap miners BHP Billiton Ltd lost 0.9 per cent, while Rio Tinto ended one per cent lower.

Oil major Woodside Petroleum Ltd closed up 0.2 per cent, while Beach Energy Ltd ended nearly two per cent higher.

Crude prices edged up on Friday, pushed by a tighter US fuel market and as technical indicators attracted buying from financial players.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index ended 0.19 per cent higher at 7,133.26. The index lost 0.48 per cent this week, extending losses for a second week.

Summerset Group Holdings was the biggest gainer on the index, closing up 1.9 per cent, followed by Air New Zealand Ltd that finished 1.8 per cent higher.

REUTERS