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Australia shares end steady after crude prices dip; NZ up


[SYDNEY] Australian shares closed steady on Tuesday, paring some early gains after crude prices dipped, but still held near one-year highs on growing expectations of an output cut.

The S&P/ASX 200 index finished flat at 0.08 per cent or, 4.37 points at 5479.80.

An overnight rally in oil prices boosted energy stocks, with the energy index closing at its highest in nearly a year.

Oil jumped on Monday after Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia was ready to join a proposed deal to curb oil production in the hope of stemming a two-year price slide.

Oil majors Oil Search Ltd and Santos finished the session up more than 3 per cent.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index nudged 0.10 per cent up or 7.31 points to finish the session at 7124.23.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand signalled on Tuesday that there would be more policy easing in future to ensure an increase in the inflation rate.

Financials, the biggest index constituent, lost ground while blue chips such as SKY Network Television Ltd up 3. 1 per cent and Genesis Energy Ltd up 1.7 per cent were major gainers.