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Australia shares record best week in a month; NZ gains for a 5th week
July 14, 2017 / 6:50 AM / 12 days ago

Australia shares record best week in a month; NZ gains for a 5th week

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July 14 (Reuters) - Australian shares ended higher on Friday and posted their best weekly performance in a month, as financials tracked Wall Street counterparts higher ahead of big U.S. banks earnings.

The S&P/ASX 200 index finished 0.5 percent, or 28.33 points, higher at 5,765.10.

The benchmark rose 1.1 percent on Thursday and added over 1 percent on the week, its strongest rise since the week ended June 16.

The day's gains rode on a solid rise in energy and financial stocks.

The Australian energy index recorded its best weekly performance since mid-May, ending the day 2 percent higher on overnight advances in oil prices, which came on the back of data showing stronger Chinese demand for crude. .

Aussie energy sector bellwether Woodside Petroleum, was up nearly 2 percent.

The Australian financial index followed U.S. financials higher as investors bought in before second quarter earnings kicked-off with three of the biggest U.S. banks reporting results.

The Aussie big banks rose in a range of 0.3 percent to 1 percent and were the biggest contributors to overall gains.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index added 0.5 percent or 38.88 points to 7,649.77.

The benchmark posted a fifth straight week of gains, adding 0.4 percent.

Auckland International Airport and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp were the main index's biggest gainers by weight, up 0.9 percent and 0.5 percent respectively.

Reporting by Rushil Dutta in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Borsuk

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