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Australia shares notch worst Q1 since 2008; NZ hits record


[SYDNEY] Australian shares recorded their worst first-quarter in eight years as a 1.5 per cent rally on Thursday failed to make up for weeks of heavy selling, while New Zealand stocks finished the three month period at an all time high.

The S&P/ASX 200 index to rose 72.5 points to 5,082.8 by the close of trade, its biggest percentage gain in a month. But the index lost 4.0 per cent in the January-March period, its worst first-quarter result since 2008.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index added 38.3 points, or 0.6 per cent, to finish at a record close of 6,752.4. For the quarter, the New Zealand benchmark rose 6.8 per cent.


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