[SYDNEY] Australian shares rose on Thursday as investors shrugged off a fall on Wall Street and bought bank stocks amid growing expectations of an interest rate cut within days.
The Reserve Bank of Australia is expected to announce its second rate cut of 2015 when it meets on Tuesday, the next trading day after markets close for the Easter weekend. A cut would encourage more people to get loans.
The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 37.8 points or 0.7 per cent to end at 5,898.6 but it was down 0.3 per cent for the shortened week.
New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index fell 4.2 points or 0.1 per cent to finish the session at 5,831.4.