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Australia, NZ: Shares close higher, supported by materials

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[BENGALURU] Australian shares ended Friday higher, underpinned by materials that rose on an extended rally in base metal prices.

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 22.72 points or 0.41 per cent higher, at 5,507.

The index gained 2.77 per cent this week, snapping the previous week's losses.

Shares also tracked gains in European markets that rose marginally on Thursday, since Wall Street was closed on Thursday for the US Thanksgiving holiday.

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Mining majors BHP Billiton ended 2.3 per cent higher, and Rio Tinto closed 2.4 per cent up, after iron ore futures in China rose for a third straight day on Thursday.

Zinc miner Terramin Australia closed 5.3 per cent higher after London zinc prices flirted with an eight-year high on Friday.

The metals index closed 1.27 per cent higher.

Financials took a breather on Friday, in lacklustre trading, after a five-session winning run.

Six companies on the benchmark index posted new 52-week highs on Friday, while 120 traded with volumes twice their 50 day average.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.24 per cent or 16.4 points to finish the session at 6,899.6, supported by materials.

Fletcher Building Ltd finished two per cent higher for a third straight session, and was the biggest percentage gainer on the index.

Air New Zealand rose 1.8 per cent, after oil prices fell on Friday.

The index ended the week 0.61 per cent higher, giving up some gains from the week before.

REUTERS

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