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Australia: Shares slip on miners, trade worries; NZ up

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The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.3 per cent to 6,846.00 at the close of trade, having touched an all-time peak of 6,893.70 earlier in the session.

[SYDNEY] Australian shares ended a six-session winning streak on Friday, slipping from record highs hit earlier in the session, dragged by mining stocks and as Hong Kong tensions cast fresh uncertainty over a Sino-US trade deal.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.3 per cent to 6,846.00 at the close of trade, having touched an all-time peak of 6,893.70 earlier in the session.

In a thinly traded session, investors assessed China's warning of "firm counter measures" to the United States after President Donald Trump signed legislation into place backing anti-government protesters in Hong Kong.

"Market will continue to wait for potential counter measures from China", OCBC analysts said in a note to clients.

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Equities around the globe had rallied earlier this week on optimism that the world's two largest economies would seal an agreement to defuse their protracted tariff war.

Reflecting that, the Australian benchmark rose 2.03 per cent this week, its biggest weekly gain since early February. The month of November was the index's best since July.

Across the Tasman sea, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose about 1 per cent or 109.3 points to finish the session at 11,316.58.

The benchmark posted a weekly gain of 3.4 per cent, its biggest since early September, and marked its fourth straight week of gains.

REUTERS