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Australia: Shares lose steam but end week on positive note


[SYDNEY] Australian shares took a breather on Friday after two days of strong gains with broad-based losses across all sectors as investors took profit ahead of key US jobs data.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 1.18 per cent, or 60.14 points, to 5,052 at the close of trade. The benchmark rose 1.8 per cent on Thursday and 0.2 per cent for the week, after dropping 2.48 per cent the previous week.

The index fell for two straight months to September forcing most market strategists to slash their year-end expectations, but a new Reuters poll shows the index is still seen ending 2015 roughly 3 per cent above Friday's close.

Economists expect US nonfarm payrolls, due later in the global day, to show that employers added 203,000 jobs in September, according to a Reuters poll.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 0.15 per cent or 8.08 points to finish the session at 5,593.51.


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