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Australia: Shares rise as hope of rate cut offsets bank woes


[SYDNEY] Australian shares sea-sawed before finishing higher on Monday as hopes of a rate cut on Tuesday eclipsed concerns about the bank sector earnings after the No.2 lender posted a disappointing interim result.

Westpac Banking Corp missed forecasts with a flat first-half profit and its dividend grew at its slowest in nearly four years, leading to concerns its rivals will show similar strain when they report over the next week.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell as much as 0.4 per cent before recovering in the afternoon session to end up 13.1 points or, 0.2 per cent, at 5827.5.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index fell 0.5 per cent or 30.3 points to finish the session at 5767.1.


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