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Australia: Shares end worst quarter since 2011

Australian shares bucked a poor performance by Wall Street to edge 0.6 per cent higher on Thursday, aided by a hunt for dividend yield and more merger action.

[SYDNEY] Australian shares posted their biggest quarterly loss in four years on Wednesday as a recovery bounce from the previous session's heavy selling failed to make up for months of volatility.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 2.1 per cent to close at 5,021.6, its biggest one-day gain since Aug 25 but insufficient to make up for the previous day's fall of nearly 4 per cent.

For the quarter ended Sept 30, the benchmark was down 8.0 per cent, its biggest three-month drop since the September quarter of 2011.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index closed down 19.1 points or 0.3 per cent at 5,593.4. For the quarter, the index fell 2.3 per cent, its biggest three-month decline since the June 2012 quarter.