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Australia: Shares drop on broad-based losses, NZ also loses grounds

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[SYDNEY] Australian shares ended 0.7 per cent lower on Friday led by an across-the-board selloff and as investors locked in profit from a recent bounce ahead of a long weekend.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 36.31 points to 5,236.4 at the close of trade. The benchmark, which rose the past three days, ended up 1.53 per cent for the week. It rose 4.5 per cent the previous week.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index slipped 0.6 per cent or 39.99 points to finish the session at 6,866.11.

REUTERS