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Australia: Shares inch higher, but energy a drag

Australian shares bucked a poor performance by Wall Street to edge 0.6 per cent higher on Thursday, aided by a hunt for dividend yield and more merger action.

[SYDNEY] Australian shares ended the session 0.2 per cent higher on Monday, underpinned by gains in the healthcare and utilities sectors although weak energy stocks capped the market.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 11.16 points to 5,367.7, but was still close to a seven-month trough touched on Friday.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index gained 0.5 per cent or 30.9 points to finish the session at 5,727.42.