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Australia, NZ: Shares advance on Deutsche Bank settlement talk

[BENGALURU] Australian shares trimmed losses from the previous session to close higher on Monday, buoyed by financials on reports that Deutsche Bank was nearing a settlement with US authorities over the sale of toxic mortgage bonds.

The S&P/ASX 200 index perked up 0.8 per cent or 42.57 points to 5,478.5 at the close of trade.

Deutsche Bank shares, which hit a record low on Friday, extended their recovery after AFP's report that the bank was near a settlement of US$5.4 billion.

Gains in Australia's "Big Four" banks lifted the financials index, which rebounded from previous session losses, to settle 1.5 per cent up.

Cattle and beef producer Australian Agricultural Company Ltd was the biggest percentage gainer on the index, up 9.8 per cent to its highest in around five months.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index regained ground, to close 0.2 per cent or 11.4 points up at 7,372.49, led by utilities.

Electricity generator and distributor Meridian Energy Ltd rose 3.1 per cent, posting its biggest percentage gain in around two weeks.

Air New Zealand was the biggest loser on the index, down 2.15 per cent after oil prices edged up on Friday.