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Australia: Shares reverse losses; up 0.8% for the week


[SYDNEY] Australian shares reversed early losses to rise 0.3 per cent on Friday led by a late rally in banks and telecommunications shares, overshadowing weakness in the consumer staples sector after Woolworths shares slumped.

Woolworths shares fell 9.5 per cent, the most since Oct 2008, after it warned full-year earnings will come in at the bottom end of consensus estimates.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 20.3 points to 5,928.8 at the close of trade. The benchmark fell 0.6 per cent on Thursday after hitting a seven-year peak earlier in the week. The index gained 0.8 per cent for the week.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 0.29 per cent or 16.79 points to finish the session at 5,878.47.