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Australia: Shares post worst weekly fall in 1-1/2 years


[SYDNEY] Australian shares fell for the fifth straight session on Friday led by weakness in financials and energy-related stocks as worries grew about the impact of declining commodities prices on the export-driven economy.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.6 per cent or 32.2 points to 5,299.2 at the close of trade. It has fallen 3.04 per cent this week, its biggest weekly drop since June 2013.

The benchmark, which barely moved in 2014, has had a rocky start to the new year. The index is down over 2 per cent so far this month.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index fell 0.45 per cent or 25.3 points to finish the session at 5,616.7.


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