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Australia shares end week flat, NZ stays near record high

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[SYDNEY] Australian shares slipped 0.5 per cent on Friday, their second straight session of losses, led by a heavy sell off in financials including real estate investment trusts even as investors digested earnings of big companies.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 26.39 to 5,515.5 points at the close of trade. The benchmark dipped 0.4 per cent on Thursday. It is down 0.2 per cent for the week.

Reit BWP was among the biggest losers on the benchmark after Australia's top hardware retailer Bunnings said it would vacate seven of its warehouse properties owned by the trust.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.5 per cent or 35.98 points to end at 7,391.3, near a record high of 7,481.68 hit earlier this week.