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Australia: Shares hit 20-week high as rate cut hopes temper oil turmoil


[SYDNEY] Australian shares rose to a 20-week high on Thursday as hopes for an interest rate cut within days pushed up indexes even as oil prices at multi-year lows sent energy stocks sharply lower The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.3 per cent or 16.7 points to close at 5569.5, its highest since Sept 10 and its seventh consecutive day of gains.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index touched a record intraday high before retreating to finish down 35.0 points or 0.6 per cent at 5759.8.