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Australia: Shares end flat, China GDP relief helps trim early losses

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[SYDNEY] Australia's sharemarket ended flat on Tuesday with gains in the big four banks offset by losses in energy stocks as weak oil prices kept the sector under pressure.

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed down 0.03 per cent, or 1.44 points, at 5,307.70.

Earlier in the session, the benchmark index fell as much as 0.5 per cent, but quickly trimmed losses after data showed China's economic growth did not slow as much as feared.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index eased 0.1 per cent, or 4.92 points, to finish at 5,633.22.

REUTERS