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Australia: Shares extend gains as banks rally
[SYDNEY] Australian shares closed at their highest in more than two weeks on Friday, thanks to an afternoon rally that swept three of the big four local banks to fresh record highs.
The S&P/ASX 200 index rose for a fourth straight session and ended up 0.4 per cent, or 24.7 points, at 5,975.5. On the week, it was 2.8 per cent higher. Commonwealth Bank climbed 0.7 per cent to A$96.32, having peaked at an all-time high of A$96.60.
New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 0.2 per cent, or 12.0 points, to 5,871.4.