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Australia: Shares post third straight month of gains

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[BENGALURU] Australian shares were little changed on Friday but posted their third straight month of gains, while New Zealand's benchmark stock index capped its strongest showing in nine months.

Weaker commodity prices hemmed in Australia's S&P/ASX 200 , which ended up a marginal 2.619 points, or 0.04 per cent, at 5,924.1.

Lower oil, gold and metal prices hurt the overall metal index, which ended down 0.4 per cent.

But gains in National Australia Bank and ANZ Banking helped offset some of the pressure on the benchmark index as investors positioned themselves ahead of key bank earnings next week.

Healthcare company CSL Ltd and toll road operator Transurban Group were among the top gainers on the benchmark index.

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The index rose 1.2 per cent for the week and 1 percent for the month of April.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.3 per cent, or 24.140 points, to 7,378.750.

The index rose 2.5 per cent for both the week and the month, its biggest gain since July 2016.

Gains on Friday were led by Auckland International Airport , which rose to its highest in six weeks.

A2 Milk fell 4.3 per cent on Friday but ended up for the week. It had buoyed the market over the last few sessions with a series of record highs.


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