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Australia, NZ: Aussie shares end slightly higher while NZ down

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[BENGALURU] Australian shares closed marginally higher on Thursday, helped by telecom stocks.

The S&P/ASX 200 index edged up 0.2 per cent, or 10.828 points, to 5,338 at the close of trade.

Data showing creation of 9,000 jobs in October, compared with the forecast of more than 20,000, only had minimal impact.

The telecom sector rose 2.11 per cent.

Telstra FPO was the sector's big gainer, rising 2.5 per cent after the telecommunications giant said it expects a A$1 billion (S$1.068 billion) reduction in core fixed costs by fiscal year 2021.

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The healthcare and utilities sectors also advanced. CSL Limited and Scentre Group were up 1.9 per cent and 1.2 per cent respectively.

Despite a sharp fall in iron ore prices, mining giant BHP Billiton, edged up 0.3 per cent on a positive outloook.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index ended 0.15 per cent or 9.920 points lower at 6,814.660.

The index was primarily dragged down by material and healthcare stocks. Fletcher Building Ltd and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation Ltd down 2.7 per cent and 2.6 per cent respectively.


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