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Australia shares rise for first day in 4; NZ also up


[BENGALURU] Australian shares snapped a three-day losing streak and ended higher on Thursday, with financial stocks leading the gains.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.5 per cent, or 31.994 points to 5,977.7, with investors shrugging off an October trade surplus that came in well below expectations. The benchmark lost 0.4 per cent on Wednesday.

The financial index rose 0.8 per cent, its biggest per centage gain in over a week, with the "Big Four" banks gaining between 0.5 per cent and 1.3 per cent.

Australia posted a A$105 million trade surplus in October, well below the A$1.38 billion surplus forecast by a Reuters poll.

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Gains on the index were broad-based, with real estate, healthcare and material stocks following financials.

Real estate company Goodman Group rose 1.2 per cent, while biotherapeutics firm CSL Ltd added 0.5 per cent.

Miner Rio Tinto gained 0.9 per cent.

The top gainer, however, was Corporate Travel Management , up as much as 5.3 per cent to it highest since November 27.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.5 per cent, or 41.74 points, to finish at 8,172.6.

The index posted its biggest per centage gain in a week, with telecoms, healthcare and material stocks outperforming.

Telecom Spark New Zealand jumped 2.5 per cent in its best one-day performance in over a month, while Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp Ltd rose 1.9 per cent.