May 24, 2018 / 6:48 AM / in a month

Australia shares edge up, aided by Aristocrat Leisure; NZ gains 0.4 pct

* Aussie shares snap five-day losing streak

* Financials extend losses to sixth session

* NZ index climbs on a2 Milk advance (Updates to close)

May 24 (Reuters) - Australian shares snapped a five-day losing streak on Thursday, aided by gains for gambling equipment marker Aristocrat Leisure that helped outweigh a continued fall for financial stocks.

The S&P/ASX 200 index was up 0.1 percent, or 4.60 points, to 6,037.1 at the close of trade. The benchmark declined 0.2 percent on Wednesday.

Shares of Aristocrat Leisure Ltd climbed 8 percent to a record after it reported half-year net profit rose 2.8 percent, with digital revenue more than tripling for the period.

Real estate stocks also gained, with Scentre Group Ltd climbing 1.4 percent, while Lend Lease Group rose 2.5 percent.

Battered by the latest round of an embarrassing inquiry into misconduct in the industry, banks extended losses into a sixth straight session on Thursday. The financial index fell 0.5 percent to a four week low.

National Australia Bank Ltd declined 1.3 percent, while Commonwealth Bank of Australia dropped 0.2 percent to its lowest since Sept. 2016.

Materials also fell, underpinned by lower iron ore and copper prices.

Rio Tinto Ltd was down 1 percent, while Fortescue Metals Group Ltd slid 0.7 percent.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.4 percent or 37.54 points to finish the session at 8,590.77.

Dairy firm a2 Milk Company Ltd rose 4.1 percent, accounting for most of the benchmark’s gains. (Reporting by Aditya Soni in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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