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Aussie shares rise as Clinton given better chance to win; NZ ends lower

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[BENGALURU] Australian shares closed marginally higher on Monday, as odds mounted against Republican nominee Donald Trump in the coming US presidential election.

Mr Trump faces the biggest crisis of his 16-month-old campaign after a tape of him making vulgar comments about women deepened fissures with establishment Republicans.

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed up 0.15 per cent, or 8.01 points, at 5,475.40.

Gains were driven by financials, the biggest constituent of the index, with all the 'Big 4' banks ending higher.

Energy stocks lost ground with Santos Ltd shedding over 2 per cent as crude prices fell over doubts that non-Opec producers will cut output.

New Zealand's main index lost 0.7 per cent, or 50.89 points, closing at its lowest in nearly three months at 7116.92.

Auckland International Airport Ltd was the worst performer on the index, losing 3.3 per cent.