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[SYDNEY] Australian shares rose on Wednesday as higher oil prices helped shore up the energy sector, while steadier iron ore prices prompted some investors to buy recently battered miners.
Bank shares, however, were mostly softer with the market still struggling to get over its disappointment that the central bank did not cut interest rates on Tuesday.
The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.3 per cent, or 18.6 points, to 5,944.6 by 0237 GMT. The benchmark index is not far from a seven-year peak of 5,996.9 set last month.
New Zealand's benchmark NZX50 index was marginally firmer, up 0.1 per cent at 5,855.5, on modest demand for some leaders and mid-cap stocks.