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Australia: Shares rose nearly 1% despite US uncertainty

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Australian shares bucked a poor performance by Wall Street to edge 0.6 per cent higher on Thursday, aided by a hunt for dividend yield and more merger action.

[SYDNEY] Australian shares ended 0.94 per cent higher on Thursday in a surprisingly bullish session despite uncertainty ahead of US Federal Reserve intrest rate decision later in the day.

The index gave back some gains after hitting a high of 5,194 earlier in the day.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 47.9 points to 5,146.8 at the close of trade. The benchmark closed 1.6 per cent higher on Wednesday and remains on track to post a second straight weekly gain.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index gained 0.5 per cent or 26.3 points to finish the session at 5,694.2.

REUTERS