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Australia: Shares cut losses to end firm; up 1.5% for week


[SYDNEY] Australian shares gave up early losses to end flat on Friday, led by late buying demand in financials stocks, including Commonwealth Bank of Australia .

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.09 per cent, or 4.69 points, to 5,106.70 at the close of trade. The benchmark jumped 1.5 per cent on Thursday and posted its best weekly performance since the week ending Nov. 20.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 0.32 per cent or 19.51 points to finish the session at 6,107.84.