(Updates to close)
SYDNEY, Oct 30 (Reuters) - 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. (Editing by Shri Navaratnam)