October 1, 2014 / 6:28 AM / 3 years ago

Australia shares close 0.8 pct higher as battered banks bounce

(Updates to close)

SYDNEY, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Australian shares added 0.8 percent on Wednesday, supoorted by a rebound in recently battered banking stocks, though sentiment remained fragile on softer-than-expected retail sales data and weakness on Wall Street.

The S&P/ASX 200 index climbed 41.3 points to 5,334.1 at the close of trade. The benchmark rose 0.5 percent on Tuesday, but tumbled 5.9 percent for September, its biggest monthly loss since May

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 0.4 percent or 19.5 points to finish the session at 5,274.6. (Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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