Australia and NZ Equities Finish Higher

Australian shares rose on Thursday, buoyed by financials and consumer stocks, as investors took heart from the Federal Reserve’s optimism about the U.S. economic recovery and shrugged off a profit drop by major lender National Australia Bank.

The S&P/ASX 200 index ended up 0.5 percent at 5,476.2, a whisker away from a seven-week high touched Wednesday.

New Zealand’s benchmark NZX 50 index added 0.3 percent or 14.3 points to finish the session at 5,370.18, having climbed to a record high of 5,381.71.


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