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Australia: Shares pause near recent peak; NZ hits fresh record

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[SYDNEY] Australia's shares paused near a one-year high on Friday, though a rally in the natural resources sector offset some losses in energy and financials, while New Zealand's bourse touched an all-time high.

The S&P/ASX 200 index eased 0.26 per cent, or 14.19 points, to close the session at 5,498.20. Although the benchmark finished slightly off at close, it was still near a one-year peak of 5,531.9 hit in the previous session.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index picked up 0.16 per cent, or 12 points, to finish the session at 7,226.05. The index is up nearly 5 per cent in July, as both indexes have recovered from a slump after the Brexit vote.

The index was up more than 2 per cent for the week, the fourth consecutive week of gains, and the longest unbroken rally in three months.

REUTERS