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Australia: Shares fall as business spending gloom weighs on market


[SYDNEY] Australian shares gave up modest early gains and fell on Thursday after weaker than expected business spending data suggested rate cuts are failing to ignite the economy as hoped.

After opening slightly higher, the benchmark index slid into negative territory after the Australian Bureau of Statistics said capital expenditure fell the most in six years in the March quarter, nearly double the decline forecast.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 12.2 points or 0.2 per cent to 5713.1 at the close of trade, its second consecutive decline and its lowest finish in a week.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 19.7 points or 0.3 per cent to finish the session at 5777.6.


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