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Australia: Shares stall as index flirts with 6,000 level


[SYDNEY] Australia's stock market ended flat on Wednesday as gains in bank stocks were offset by weakness in the resource sector.

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed up 0.07 per cent, or 4.2 points, at 5,973.3, continuing to stall just below the 6,000 level.

Two of the big four banks scaled all-time peaks. ANZ climbed as high as A$37.19 while Westpac Bank reached A$39.89. In contrast, miners were softer, with BHP Billiton slipping 0.4 per cent.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index edged down 0.2 per cent, or 12.8 points, to finish at 5,857.8.