Australia shares pare gains after bigger budget deficit forecast
(Updates to close)
SYDNEY Dec 17 (Reuters) - Australian shares pared early gains to end 0.3 percent higher on Tuesday, after sentiment was hit by a warning from Australia's treasurer that the country has to climb a "challenging fiscal and economic mountain".
Australia's government forecast its budget deficit would swell to A$47 billion in the year to June as a slowdown in mining investment saps tax revenues and other parts of the economy struggle to pick up the slack.
The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 13.6 points to 5,103.2. The benchmark slipped 0.2 percent on Monday.
New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index slipped 0.2 percent to 4,728.0. (Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)
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