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Australia: Shares hit 2 1/2-yr low


[SYDNEY] Australian shares fell to a fresh 2 1/2-year low on Wednesday as weak commodity prices battered mining stocks, wiping out all the previous session's gains.

The S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 61.6 points, or 1.3 per cent, to 4,841.5 at the close of trade, its lowest since mid-2013. The benchmark is down 8.6 per cent so far this year.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index dipped 10.5 points, or 0.2 per cent, to finish the session at 6,113.7.