Australia: Shares ease, down sharply on week

[SYDNEY] Australian shares closed mostly lower on Friday but posted their biggest weekly loss in a month as a rout in global commodity prices took a heavy toll on the market.

The S&P/ASX 200 index eased 0.16 per cent, or 8.22 points, to 5,029.50, taking losses this week to a hefty 2.37 per cent. The benchmark is down 7.05 per cent so far this year.

New Zealand stocks fared better a day after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand cut the official cash rate to a matching record low of 2.5 per cent.

The benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.49 per cent, or 29.38 points, to finish the session at 6,069.94. It was down a mere 0.41 per cent on the week.


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