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Australia: Shares pare gains to end up 0.1%

Australian shares bucked a poor performance by Wall Street to edge 0.6 per cent higher on Thursday, aided by a hunt for dividend yield and more merger action.

[SYDNEY] Australian shares pared gains on Thursday to end up 0.1 per cent, with support coming from banks and miners but investors exercised caution after China's central bank said there was no basis for further depreciation in the yuan.

BHP Billiton rose 1.2 per cent, while gold miner Newcrest gained nearly 3 per cent. Telecommunications stocks stayed in the red with Telstra down 2.24 per cent.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 5.8 points to 5,387.9 by the close of trade, after two days of losses. The benchmark dropped 1.7 per cent on Wednesday, its lowest close in seven months.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index fell 0.4 per cent, or 19.5 points, to finish the session at 5,737.7.