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Australia: Shares end flat

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Australian shares ended flat on Monday as weakness in banks was offset by gains in mining stocks, with global miner Rio Tinto ending at its best level in over a decade.

[SYDNEY] Australian shares ended flat on Monday as weakness in banks was offset by gains in mining stocks, with global miner Rio Tinto ending at its best level in over a decade.

Sentiment toward miners was helped by comments from Chinese Premier Li Keqiang that boded well for demand for industrial metals from Australia's main export market. Mr Li said China would look to keep value-added tax low for the manufacturing industry to boost the economy.

Mining major Rio Tinto finished 1.8 pwer cent higher, while rival BHP Group added 1.3 per cent.

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 4.1 points lower at 6,451.9, its third straight session in the red, though activity was subdued due to market holidays in London and New York.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was 0.7 per cent, or 74.65 points, lower to 10,147.71, dragged by healthcare stocks such as Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp, which fell 3.5 per cent.

REUTERS

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