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Australia: Shares rally to 7-year high after rate cut

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[SYDNEY] Australian shares surged to a near seven-year high on Tuesday after the central bank cut interest rates, ending doubts it will take further action to spur the economy and encouraging investors to switch out of bonds and into stocks.

The S&P/ASX 200 index was up a third of one percent until the afternoon when the Reserve Bank of Australia cut rates, sending the benchmark into a rally to close up 1.5 per cent or 82 points at 5,707.4, its highest since May 2008.

The index has risen for each of the last nine sessions, and has risen 5.5 per cent since the start of 2015.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index firmed 0.4 per cent or 25.3 points to finish the session at 5,781.9.

REUTERS