[SYDNEY] Australian shares closed lower on Thursday with bank stocks providing the biggest drag.
National Australia Bank, which traded ex-dividend, ended 4.5 per cent lower, while the other major banks were down between 0.5 per cent and 1.0 per cent.
The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.9 per cent, or 49.29 points, to 5,193.00.
New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index ended up 0.04 per cent, or 2.42 points, at 6,073.63 - a record closing high. Earlier, it scaled an intra-day all-time peak of 6,077.89.