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Australia: Shares surge to 7-year peak, NZ stocks also up

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[SYDNEY] Australian shares surged to a near seven-year peak on Friday as firmer commodity prices and news of a ceasefire in Ukraine bolstered risk appetite.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 2.3 per cent or 133.9 points to 5,877.5. It went as far as 5,893.5, its highest since May 2008 and putting it on track for a 1 per cent weekly gain.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 0.6 per cent or 37.2 points to finish at 5,786.54.

REUTERS