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Australia, NZ: Shares end lower as markets wary before US jobs data


[BENGALURU] Australian shares ended lower on Friday as investors took some money off the table before the US jobs data which could influence the timing of the next Federal Reserve rate hike.

The S&P/ASX 200 index nudged 15.6 points or 0.29 per cent lower, ending at 5,467.4.

The index rose 0.58 per cent this week, extending gains for a third week.

Losses were spread across industrials, telecommunications and a few other sectors but price moves were tentative ahead of the US jobs data.

Telstra slipped 1.0 per cent, Santos was off 2.5 per cent and Qantas eased 0.3 per cent.

On the upside, Westpac extended recent gains, up 0.8 per cent.

Gains in crude prices supported the energy index, which rose 0.71 per cent.

Oil Search Ltd, the most valued oil and gas stock in terms of P/E when compared to peers, ended the session up 1.1 per cent.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index extended losses for a fourth session, inching 0.41 per cent or 29.48 points lower to finish the session at 7,167.8, after declining issues outpaced advancers by a 1.6:1 margin.

The index fell 2.63 per cent this week, snapping two weeks of gains.

Technology shares were the biggest drag on the index, with online advertising company Trade Me Group Ltd falling 4.4 per cent for its biggest percentage loss in eight months.