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SYDNEY/WELLINGTON, July 18 Australian shares ended 0.2 percent up on Friday as banks clawed higher, but gains were tempered by investor caution after news of the downing of a Malaysian airliner in Ukraine sparked global fears of further strife in the region.
The S&P/ASX 200 index added 9.2 points to 5,531.6 at the close of trade and rose 0.8 percent for the week. The local benchmark outperformed the Asia-Pacific region, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan down 0.2 percent.
New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index slipped 0.1 percent or 3.5 points to finish at 5,108.9. (Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)