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Australia: Shares close higher on miners, industrials


[SYDNEY] Australian shares gained 0.5 per cent on Friday in the first trading day of 2015, buoyed by industrials and mining companies.

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 24.8 points higher at 5,435.9 in thin trade as many investors have yet to return from their New Year holidays.

Weighed down by falling commodity prices, the benchmark rose a mere 1 per cent in 2014 compared with the robust gains in the previous two years.

New Zealand markets were closed on Friday. Its benchmark share index gained nearly 18 per cent last year.