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Australia, NZ: Shares edge up as investors hold central bank vigil

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[BENGALURU] Australian shares nudged higher on Tuesday, led by materials and financials, as investors awaited outcomes from policy meetings of the Bank of Japan and the US Federal Reserve that conclude on Wednesday.

Reserve Bank of Australia has hinted at a stable outlook for interest rates, having already cut twice this year.

The S&P/ASX 200 index finished 0.2 per cent, or 8.8 points, firmer at 5,303.60.

Mining giants BHP Billiton Ltd and Rio Tinto Ltd rose 2.3 per cent and 1.6 per cent, respectively.

Retailer Woolworths Ltd extended gains to a third-straight session to climb 1.1 per cent.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.4 per cent, or 30.33 points, to 7,308.45.

Honey supplier Comvita Ltd was the biggest gainer on the benchmark, jumping 3.1 per cent to touch a more than one-month high.