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Australia shares record best week in a month; NZ gains for a 5th week

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[BENGALURU] Australian shares ended higher on Friday and posted their best weekly performance in a month, as financials tracked Wall Street counterparts higher ahead of big US banks earnings.

The S&P/ASX 200 index finished 0.5 per cent, or 28.33 points, higher at 5,765.10.

The benchmark rose 1.1 per cent on Thursday and added over 1 per cent on the week, its strongest rise since the week ended June 16.

The day's gains rode on a solid rise in energy and financial stocks.

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The Australian energy index recorded its best weekly performance since mid-May, ending the day 2 per cent higher on overnight advances in oil prices, which came on the back of data showing stronger Chinese demand for crude. .

Aussie energy sector bellwether Woodside Petroleum, was up nearly 2 per cent.

The Australian financial index followed US financials higher as investors bought in before second quarter earnings kicked-off with three of the biggest US banks reporting results.

The Aussie big banks rose in a range of 0.3 per cent to 1 per cent and were the biggest contributors to overall gains.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index added 0.5 per cent or 38.88 points to 7,649.77.

The benchmark posted a fifth straight week of gains, adding 0.4 per cent.

Auckland International Airport and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp were the main index's biggest gainers by weight, up 0.9 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively.

REUTERS

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