Australia shares hit fresh 4-1/2 year high, CBA finishes above A$70

Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:23am EDT

(Updates to close)
    SYDNEY, March 11 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose 0.5
percent on Monday led by financials as Wall Street set record
highs last week, but weaker metal prices hit miners. 
    Blue chip miners BHP Billiton Ltd and Rio Tinto Ltd
 lost 0.8 percent and 2 percent respectively, as metals
reacted to data from China showing factory output and consumer
spending were weaker than forecast.
    Financials were firmer, with National Australia Bank
 jumping 1.7 percent. The Commonwealth Bank of Australia
 rose 0.4 percent to trade at an all-time high of
A$70.13. Westpac Banking Corp finished the day flat.
    The S&P/ASX 200 index  rose 23.5 points to 5,146.9,
hitting fresh 4-1/2 year highs, according to the latest data.
The index rose 0.3 percent on Friday.
    New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index closed the
session 0.3 percent or 12.5 points up at an all-time high of
4,366.6.

 (Reporting By Thuy Ong; Editing by Eric Meijer)
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