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Australia: Shares fall led by financials; NZ down

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[SYDNEY] Australian shares ran out of steam on Thursday to drop 0.24 per cent after five straight days of gains, with financials weighing down the index following Wall Street's weak lead.

The S&P/ASX 200 index lost 12.99 points, or 0.24 per cent, to close at 5,359.30. The benchmark hit a nine-month high of 5,425.20 on Wednesday before easing slightly to close at 5,372.30.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index shed 0.30 per cent, or 21.17 points, to finish the session at 6,923.17.

REUTERS