Australia shares edge up, banks offer support as Fed in focus

Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:27am EDT

(Updates to close)

SYDNEY, March 19 (Reuters) - Australian shares edged up 0.2 percent in choppy trade on Wednesday, with big banks offering some support, as investors remained cautious even as the threat of military conflict in Ukraine eased and ahead of a policy review by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

The S&P/ASX 200 index added 11 points to close at 5,355.6. The benchmark rose 0.5 percent on Tuesday.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 0.4 percent to 5,154.7, after touching an all-time high of 5,159.8.

(Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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