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Australia: Shares close higher as bank rally overcomes BHP selloff


[SYDNEY] A bounce in bank stocks helped Australian shares edge higher on Wednesday, but the benchmark index was held back by heavy selling in miner BHP Billiton following a deadly industrial accident at a Brazilian mine.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.5 per cent or 23.4 per cent to 5,122.6 at the close of trade. The benchmark is down more than 5 per cent this year.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index added 0.2 per cent or 10.7 points to finish the session at 6,013.5.


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