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Australia: Shares see best weekly rally in 2 years on recovery hopes

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Australian stocks rose on Friday marking their longest run of weekly gains since May 2018, as upbeat signals from the country's central bank and fresh stimulus reinforced bets of a swift recovery from economic damage inflicted by the coronavirus.

[SYDNEY] Australian stocks rose on Friday marking their longest run of weekly gains since May 2018, as upbeat signals from the country's central bank and fresh stimulus reinforced bets of a swift recovery from economic damage inflicted by the coronavirus.

The S&P/ASX 200 inched up 0.1 per cent to 5,998.70. The benchmark advanced for a sixth straight week, rising 4 per cent, and hit a near three-month high during the week.

Australia is likely to slip into its first recession in three decades, but investors are confident that a handle on coronavirus cases, reopening businesses, as well as monetary and fiscal stimulus will spur growth Down Under.

The Reserve Bank of Australia has repeatedly said that the downturn may not be as deep as initially feared and left room for more stimulus, while the government on Thursday launched a new incentive programme for the construction sector.

New Zealand's S&P/NZX 50 index eased after four sessions of gains to end 0.5 per cent lower at 11,171.66.

REUTERS

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