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Australia: Shares end higher for a third day, banks in demand


[SYDNEY] Australian shares rose for a third straight session on Thursday, underpinned by gains in the financial sector that lifted Commonwealth Bank to a two-month closing high.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index closed up 33.4 points, or 0.6 per cent, at 5,669.6. It touched 5,691.2 - a level last seen on June 24.

Commonwealth Bank shares put on 1.0 per cent to A$87.96, having touched a session high of A$88.41.

Also firmer, New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index climbed 18.2 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 5,824.2.