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Australia: Shares gain for 5th session, driven by miners; NZ up


[SYDNEY] Australian shares extended gains to a fifth straight session on Monday as copper and iron ore prices drove miners higher.

The S&P/ASX 200 index ended 0.7 per cent, or 40.09 points, higher at 5,760.7.

Miners BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals gained between 2.2 per cent and 6.3 per cent.

Fortescue Metals was the biggest gainer on the benchmark and recorded its highest close since in nearly six years.

Expectations of strong demand for building materials drove steel prices higher, steering iron ore futures in China to three year highs on Monday.

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London copper extended gains to hit its highest in 20 months on supply worries after shipments were shut off from the world's two biggest copper mines.

On the other hand, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank shed 5 per cent as it posted bleak half yearly results earlier in the day. It was the biggest loser in the financial index, restricting its gain to 0.33 per cent.

The biggest loser on the benchmark index was Domino's Pizza Enterprises which lost 4.8 per cent. Dominos, which is set to report its half year results on Wednesday, says it has found no evidence of a link between franchisee profitability and breaches of employment obligations, while adding that it is investigating the allegation.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index closed 0.44 per cent, or 31.07 points, higher at 7,135.5.

Fletcher Building and A2 Milk were the biggest gainers on the index, each gaining over 2.3 per cent.

Contact Energy followed, adding 1.8 per cent as it posted a 12.3 per cent rise in underlying half-year profit.


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