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Australia: Shares close off session lows, miners buoyed by China


[SYDNEY] Australian shares shed 0.6 per cent on Monday to their lowest since February, squeezed by uncertainty over the outlook for banks, while an uptick in trade data from China helped support the resource sector.

China's export and import performance in September easily beat forecasts, helping to ease concerns about deteriorating domestic demand in Australia's largest export market.

The S&P/ASX 200 index lost 32.8 points to 5,155.5 at the close of trade, after hitting an intraday low of 5,122.0. The benchmark lost 2.1 per cent on Friday and shed 2.4 per cent last week.

Elsewhere, the ASX Ltd placed the ASX 24 futures market index in a halt after a technical issue prevented pricing updates for some market participants.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index dropped 1 per cent or 55.1 points to 5,170.1. - Reuters