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Australia: Shares hit 9-month high, NZ climbs back to record

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[SYDNEY] Australian shares rose to their highest in nine months on Wednesday, helped by solid gains in mining giant BHP Billiton, while New Zealand stocks returned to record territory after recovering from a late-April fall.

The S&P/ASX 200 index was up 29.51 points at 5,372.30 at the close of trade after earlier rising to 5,425.2, a level last seen in August.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.51 per cent, or 34.94 points, to finish the session at 6,944.34, having earlier hit an all-time high of 6,961.79.

REUTERS