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Australia: Shares pare loses on better jobs data
[SYDNEY] Australian shares pared early losses to pull back from lows on Thursday, helped by robust jobs data and gains in energy-related shares after oil futures rebounded overnight.
The S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 22.2 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 5,331.4 at the close of trade, after falling one per cent on Wednesday. The the declines sustain the current pace over Friday, it would mark the worst weekly performance since June 2013.
The benchmark, which barely moved in 2014, has started the new year on a weak note with the global commodities slump hitting sentiment. The index is down 1.5 per cent so far this month.
On Thursday, the index came off lows led by gains in consumer staples, healthcare and telecommunications sectors. Financials and resources stocks were deep in the red.
New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index fell 0.12 per cent or 6.57 points to finish the session at 5,642.05.