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Australia: Shares climb on trade talk hopes, NZ closes at record high

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The S&P/ASX 200 index advanced 0.5 per cent to 6,647.3. The benchmark rose 0.9 per cent on Thursday and recorded a weekly gain of 0.7 per cent.

[SYDNEY] Australian shares had a solid rise on Friday, contributing to the market's third straight weekly gain, fuelled by hopes for reduced tensions after Washington and Beijing agreed to hold high-level trade talks next month.

The S&P/ASX 200 index advanced 0.5 per cent to 6,647.3. The benchmark rose 0.9 per cent on Thursday and recorded a weekly gain of 0.7 per cent.

The latest round of talks would the first in-person, high-level discussion since a failed trade meeting at the end of July prompted US President Donald Trump to proceed with fresh tariffs on virtually all remaining Chinese imports so far untouched by the trade war.

"The US market is now within 2 per cent of all time-highs, and we are basically kind of soldiers to fortunes on that, following suit on the decent mark-up across the board," Damian Rooney, director of equity sales at Argonaut said.

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On Friday, risk sentiment was also supported by strong US economic data that revealed a rebound in the services industry last month.

Australia's energy stocks jumped 1.3 per cent, and were among the top gainers on the benchmark stock index, helped by rising oil prices.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index closed up 1 per cent to 11,218.99, a record high and produced its biggest weekly gain in over 10 years.

REUTERS