(Updates to close)
SYDNEY Jan 31 Australian shares closed flat on
Friday after weak metals prices undercut an uptick in private
sector credit, and posted their first January loss in four years
in a patchy start to the year.
The S&P/ASX 200 index ended the day 2 points higher
at 5,190.0 and fell 1 percent for the week, its fourth
consecutive week of losses.
Australia's share market shed 3 percent in January as
investors sold out of equities on slowing growth in China and as
the U.S. Federal Reserve continued to taper its bond-buying
New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 0.5
percent or 24.7 points to finish the session at 4,874.6.
(Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Chris Gallagher)