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Australia: Shares fall for a fourth straight session


[SYDNEY] Australian shares fell 0.44 per cent on Thursday, their fourth consecutive drop, pushed lower by weakness in banks, resources and consumer staples while muted earnings guidance from major companies dampened sentiment.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 25.5 points to 5,743.6 at the close of trade. The benchmark fell 0.5 per cent on Wednesday.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index fell 0.7 per cent or 39.9 points to finish the session at 5,749.32.