(Updates to close)
SYDNEY, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose 0.6 percent on Thursday, underpinned by a firmer finish on Wall Street, better-than-expected earnings for Australia's largest telecommunications provider Telstra, and a return to profit for media group Fairfax.
Telstra Corporation Ltd jumped 2.2 percent to A$5.56, its highest since March 2002, while media company Fairfax Ltd bounced 6.2 percent to A$0.94, a three week high.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed up 33.8 points at 5,548.5. The benchmark dipped 0.3 percent on Wednesday.
New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index added 0.1 percent or 7.7 points to finish the session at 5,062.4. (Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)