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Australia, NZ: Shares perk up as BOJ overhauls policy but NZ down

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[BENGALURU] Australian shares rose for a second straight session on Wednesday, spurred by the Bank of Japan's decision to adopt a target for long-term interest rates in an overhaul of its massive monetary stimulus programme.

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed up 0.7 per cent, or 36.03 points, at 5,339.6, with financials leading the way.

Australia and New Zealand Banking, one of the "big four" Australian banks, extended gains into a sixth-straight session to climb 1.7 per cent in what is its longest streak of gains since July.

Retail giant Wesfarmers Ltd ended 1.8 per cent higher to hit a near-one month high.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index snapped three sessions of gains to slide 0.4 per cent or 27.28 points to 7,281.17.

Orion Health Group was the biggest percentage loser on the index, plummeting 5.3 per cent to close at a five-month low.