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Australia shares snap 4 days of losses as banks firm; NZ down

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[BENGALURU] Australian shares recovered from four-straight sessions of losses on Wednesday, boosted by financial stocks, as expectations rose of the country's 30-year bond debut drawing strong demand.

The S&P/ASX 200 index inched higher, finishing up 19.92 points, or 0.4 per cent, at 5,227.7.

The "Big Four" banks gained between 0.6 per cent to 1.5 per cent.

Telecoms giant Telstra Ltd reversed losses to close 2.6 per cent higher in what is its biggest daily percentage gain since early May.

The world's largest standalone winemaker Treasury Wine Estates extended gains to rise 1.8 per cent, while retail giant Wesfarmers climbed more than one per cent.

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Mining giants BHP Billiton Ltd and Rio Tinto Ltd slipped one per cent and 1.3 per cent, respectively.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index ended weaker for a fifth straight session, falling 0.5 per cent or 38.51 points to 7,210.72.

Utilities and industrials were the biggest drag on the benchmark index.

Power generation company Meridian Energy was the biggest loser on the index, falling more than 3 per cent, hurt by weak retail sales volumes in August which fell 4.5 per cent year-on-year.


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