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SYDNEY, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose 1.46 percent on Thursday, joining a global equities rally as investors piled back into the markets after a U.S. interest rate hike signalled confidence in the world's largest economy.
The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 73.55 points to 5,102 at the close of trade, after reaching a high of 5,129.1 earlier in the session. On Wednesday, the benchmark gained 1.91 percent to 5,003.40, recovering from 4,909.60, a trough not seen since July 2013.
New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 0.29 percent or 17.39 points to finish the session at 6,088.33. (Reporting by Pauline Askin; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)