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Australia: Shares hit 2-year low as China woes rattle investors

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Australian shares bucked a poor performance by Wall Street to edge 0.6 per cent higher on Thursday, aided by a hunt for dividend yield and more merger action.

[SYDNEY] Australian shares tumbled to their lowest close in more than two years on Wednesday as concerns about the economic outlook for top trading partner China sent commodity prices lower, hitting sentiment across the board.

The S&P/ASX 200 index finished down 2.1 per cent or 105.5 points at 4,998.1, its lowest since July 2013. The benchmark has fallen 7.6 per cent so far this year.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index declined 42.5 points or 0.7 per cent to finish the session at 5,654.3.

REUTERS