Australia shares shed 0.9 pct, gold price supports miners

Fri Jun 20, 2014 2:34am EDT

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SYDNEY, June 20 (Reuters) - Australian shares fell 0.9 percent on Friday, with the crisis in Iraq encouraging investors to book profits from the previous session's steep gains while a surge in gold propped up producers such as Newcrest Mining.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 48 points to 5,419.5 at the close of trade. The benchmark jumped 1.6 percent on Thursday, its biggest one-day percentage gain since December 19.

For the week, the market added 0.3 percent to snap a three-week slide.

Top Australian goldminer Newcrest led gainers with a rise of 4 percent, while Australia's second biggest accommodation provider Mantra Group closed two cents below its offer price in its first day of trade.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index fell 0.9 percent or 47 points to finish the session at 5,145 points, with retailer The Warehouse pulling it down after a profit warning. (Reporting by Thuy Ong and Lincoln Feast; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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