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Australia shares fall on political uncertainty, NZ gets business confidence boost

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[SYDNEY] Australian shares fell one per cent on Tuesday, with the financial sector hardest hit as political uncertainty at home after an inconclusive election hurt sentiment, while New Zealand's bourse rose on an uptick in business confidence.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 53.78 points to 5228 at the close of trade. The drop wiped out Monday's 0.67 per cent gains, which were driven by industrial and precious metals miners.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index picked up 0.43 per cent, or 30.04 points, to finish the session at 6970.99.