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Australia, NZ shares eke out modest gains on resource stocks support

[BENGALURU] Australian shares were little changed on Tuesday as gains in commodities prices helped stronger material and resource stocks offset losses among banking counters.

The S&P/ASX 200 index perked up 3.638 points, or 0.06 per cent, to 5,897.6. The benchmark fell 0.2 per cent on Monday, breaking eight straight days of gains, its best winning streak since January 2015.

Mining giant BHP Billiton and South32, made up of non-core assets spun off by BHP, buoyed material stocks, gaining 0.2 per cent and 1.3 per cent, respectively.

The Metals and Mining index ended 0.8 per cent firmer while the benchmark index of gold stocks notched its biggest single-day leap in about eight weeks.

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Shares of the country's biggest gold producer Newcrest Mining reversed four days of declines to end almost one per cent higher as prices of the precious metal nudged up. Bank stocks dominated losses, tracking overnight declines on Wall Street, with Australia and New Zealand Banking slipping over 0.6 per cent.

Meanwhile, retailer Woolworths was the worst performer on the bourse, posting its deepest one day slip in about three weeks.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was little changed, inching up 0.55 points to finish the session at 8,130.1.

Consumer staples dominated gains in the New Zealand benchmark while healthcare stocks lost traction.

REUTERS