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Australia: Stocks end higher as bank shares rebound

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 closed higher on Monday as investors picked up beaten-down bank stocks, helping this market stand out in a sea of red across much of Asia.

The S&P/ASX 200 index ended 1.4 per cent, or 71.4 points, higher at 5,113.5. An encouraging outcome following last week's 2.5 per cent drop. All Big Four banks chalked up solid gains, led by a 1.8 per cent rise in Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index edged up 0.2 per cent, or 11.8 points to 5,699.1.