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Oct 7 (Reuters) - Australian shares ended lower on Friday as investors took some money off the table before the U.S. jobs data which could influence the timing of the next Federal Reserve rate hike.
The S&P/ASX 200 index nudged 15.6 points or 0.29 percent lower, ending at 5,467.4.
The index rose 0.58 percent this week, extending gains for a third week.
Losses were spread across industrials, telecommunications and a few other sectors but price moves were tentative ahead of the U.S. jobs data.
Telstra slipped 1.0 percent, Santos was off 2.5 percent and Qantas eased 0.3 percent.
On the upside, Westpac extended recent gains, up 0.8 percent.
Gains in crude prices supported the energy index, which rose 0.71 percent. Oil Search Ltd, the most valued oil and gas stock in terms of P/E when compared to peers, ended the session up 1.1 percent.
New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index extended losses for a fourth session, inching 0.41 percent or 29.48 points lower to finish the session at 7,167.8, after declining issues outpaced advancers by a 1.6:1 margin.
The index fell 2.63 percent this week, snapping two weeks of gains.
Technology shares were the biggest drag on the index, with online advertising company Trade Me Group Ltd falling 4.4 percent for its biggest percentage loss in eight months. (Reporting by Aparajita Saxena in Bengaluru; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)