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Australia: Shares pare gains but end higher


[SYDNEY] Australian shares pared gains to close 0.2 per cent higher on Monday as consumer staples and telecom stocks came under pressure in afternoon trades and as investors turned anxious ahead of economic data from China.

The S&P/ASX 200 index came off highs to rise 9.86 points to 5,309.10 at the close of trade. The benchmark fell 0.6 per cent on Friday and posted its biggest weekly drop since June 2013.

Ozforex was the worst performer on the index.

Woolworths turned negative in later session to fall over 1 per cent while Wesfarmers fell 0.3 per cent. Telstra was down 0.8 per cent.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index ended up 0.38 per cent or 21.4 points to finish the session at 5,638.14.