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Australia: Shares end near 1-year high on rate cut hopes, NZ declines


[SYDNEY] Australian shares rose to their highest level in nearly a year on Wednesday as gains in commodity prices lifted resources stocks and soft inflation data boosted hopes of an interest rate cut, while New Zealand shares slipped.

The S&P/ASX 200 index nudged up 2.2 points, or 0.04 per cent, to 5,539.7 at the close of trade, its highest finish since Aug 6, 2015.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 8.5 points, or 0.1 per cent, to finish the session at 7,301.9.