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Australia, NZ: Shares extend rally to recover Brexit losses

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[SYDNEY] New Zealand shares have this week recovered from sharp falls following the United Kingdom's Brexit vote, while Australian shares have recouped most of their losses as both bourses tracked higher on Friday.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.74 per cent, adding 38.53 points to 5271.9 by 0145 GMT.

The benchmark is now trading at a one-week high, although it is still below a top of 5325.4 which was reached last Friday as the Remain vote tracked well in early counting.

"I think that the volatility post-Brexit was the result of fear and an emotional reaction to uncertainty", said senior equities analyst David Walker, of Clime Asset Management. "Markets had effectively priced in a premium on a successful Remain vote, which of course didn't happen and so the unwinding was really a reaction to that. Investors are realising that there will be a slowdown in the UK ... but it doesn't have the significance in a global scale of a slowdown in the US or China."

Miners led Australia's market higher, with BHP Billiton adding 3.7 per cent, while Newcrest, which gained 3.35 per cent and Evolution Mining, which surged 7.9 per cent joined a broader rally in gold stocks.

Shares in construction industry software provider Aconex Ltd jumped 11.13 per cent to a record high after signing a four-year deal to provide software to Exxon Mobil Corp.

Healthcare shares gained and adult stem cell technology player Mesoblast stocks rose by 10.7 per cent, after the company announced continued funding for the trial of chronic heart failure treatments.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was largely flat on Friday, inching up 0.05 per cent or 4.160 points to 6,900.790 as the market took a slight breath after rising for four consecutive gains.

The index was headed for a weekly rise of 3.5 per cent, its largest weekly percentage rise since February, as investors parked money in higher-yielding stocks on the expectation that global uncertainty caused by Brexit would keep interest rates low.

The biggest gainer was Kathmandu, which rose 2.61 per cent after upwardly revising its full-year earning forecasts on Thursday.

Port of Tauranga rose 1.54 per cent, while Property Industries rose 1.27 per cent.

Chicken processor Tegel lost 1.21 per cent while high-yielding stock Spark fell 1.13 per cent as investors took profits after the telecommunications provider rose more than three percent earlier in the week.