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Australia: Shares fall on US rate hike worries, NZ hits record close

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[SYDNEY] Australian shares fell on Wednesday, snapping two sessions of gains, as investors sold on revived expectations of a US interest rate hike, while New Zealand stocks hit a record closing high.

The S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 39.7 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 5,356.2. After one of its poorest starts to a calendar year in decades, the benchmark has been recovering since April to be up 1 per cent so far in 2016.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 7.7 points, or 0.1 per cent, to finish the session at 6,982.6, a record closing high.

REUTERS