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Australia: Shares extend losses, NZ recovers

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[SYDNEY] Australian shares fell for a second session on Wednesday and closed at their lowest in over three weeks as declines in banks offset a rebound in mining and energy stocks.

The S&P/ASX 200 index shed 0.55 per cent, or 28.11 points, to 5,080.50, extending Tuesday's 0.91 per cent decline.

Most of the big four banks finished in the red but oil and gas producer Santos climbed 5.7 per cent, trimming some of the hefty losses suffered in the past two sessions.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index bounced off a 2-1/2 week low to close at 6,053.55, up 0.31 per cent, or 18.55 points, on the day.

REUTERS