Australia shares post fourth weekly gain, caution ahead of election
(Updates to close)
SYDNEY, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Australian shares ended flat on Friday with investors cautious ahead of national elections and a U.S. non-farm payrolls report, but a rise on Wall Street helped buoy the market.
Trading remained slightly cautious ahead of the elections on Saturday, with polls indicating a decisive defeat for Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's Labor government. Analysts said investors had already priced a lower house win for the centre-right Liberal Coalition into valuations.
The S&P/ASX 200 index finished 2.5 points higher at 5,145.0. The benchmark rose 0.2 percent for the week, a fourth consecutive week of gains.
Investors will also monitor the closely-watched payrolls report in the United States and its implication on the Federal Reserve's stimulus programme that is due to be released after trading closes on Friday.
New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index finished 0.2 percent lower at 4,597.2. (Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)
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