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[SYDNEY] Australian shares stepped back from a one-month high on Thursday, as weakness on Wall Street and a mixed picture on Chinese manufacturing activity sidelined buyers.
A survey showing China's vast factory sector grew a shade faster in October helped lift stocks of their lows but analysts said the numbers did not yet point to a turnaround for the cooling economy, Australia's largest trade partner.
A shooting incident at the Canadian parliament in Ottawa also unnerved investors.
The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 2.8 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 5,383.1 points at the close of trade, snapping seven sessions of gains - its longest winning streak since August. The benchmark climbed 1.1 per cent on Wednesday.
New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 0.2 per cent or 13.1 points to finish at a record closing high of 5,292.83 points after benign inflation data suggested official interest rates could stay on hold well into 2015.