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SYDNEY, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Australian shares ended slightly higher on Wednesday with the help of a firmer mining sector.
The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.05 percent, or 3 points, to finish at 5,535.
Mining giant BHP Billiton <BHP.AX added 3.2 percent, while Rio Tinto rose 2.2 percent.
Both stocks have underperformed the market in the past 12 months, but have managed to outperform the bourse for the year to date.
New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index ended 0.6 percent, or 44.35 points higher, to finish the session at 7,355. (Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)