December 28, 2017 / 5:40 AM / a year ago

Australia shares edge up to near 10-year high; NZ at record high

(Updates to close)

Dec 28 (Reuters) - Australian shares ticked up to a near 10-year closing high on Thursday, driven by financials while materials rode higher on stronger commodities prices.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.3 percent or 18.2 points to close a subdued session at 6,088.10, after ending almost flat on Wednesday.

Financials accounted for most of the gains on the benchmark, with index heavyweights Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac Banking Corp rising 0.4 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.

The Australian metals and mining index stretched its winning run to a twelfth consecutive session as it gained 0.5 percent, underpinned by a strengthening in gold and copper prices.

Mining Giant BHP climbed 0.6 percent to its highest since May 2015, while rival Rio Tinto Ltd ticked up 0.4 percent to a near 6-1/2-year peak.

The energy sector also continued to benefit from higher oil prices. Oil and gas company Woodside Petroleum Ltd rose 0.8 percent to its highest close since Nov. 7.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index climbed 0.4 percent or 32.100 points to finish the session at 8,408.530, a record closing high.

Consumer discretionary and utilities stocks together accounted for about half the gains on the benchmark, with entertainment company Sky Network Television Ltd rising 4 percent to its highest close since Oct. 17, while Genesis Energy Ltd ticked up 2.9 percent.

Reporting by Aditya Soni in Bengaluru; Editing by Shri Navaratnam

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