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Australia: Shares hold near 9-mth peak, NZ hits record high

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[SYDNEY] Australian shares held near nine-month highs on Monday, as a rebound in oil prices offset weakness in the mining sector, while New Zealand stocks scaled a record high, putting both indices on track for a 3 per cent monthly gain.

The S&P/ASX 200 index nudged up 2.1 points, or 0.04 per cent, to 5,408.0 at the close of trade. After one of the worst starts to a calendar year in decades, the benchmark is now up 2 per cent so far in 2016.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index gained 27.1 points, or 0.4 per cent, surpassing 7,000 for the first time to finish the session at 7,019.6.