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Dec 7 (Reuters) - Australian shares snapped a three-day losing streak and ended higher on Thursday, with financial stocks leading the gains.
The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.5 percent, or 31.994 points to 5,977.7, with investors shrugging off an October trade surplus that came in well below expectations. The benchmark lost 0.4 percent on Wednesday.
The financial index rose 0.8 percent, its biggest percentage gain in over a week, with the ‘Big Four’ banks gaining between 0.5 percent and 1.3 percent.
Australia posted a A$105 million ($79.31 million) trade surplus in October, well below the A$1.38 billion surplus forecast by a Reuters poll.
Gains on the index were broad-based, with real estate, healthcare and material stocks following financials.
Real estate company Goodman Group rose 1.2 percent, while biotherapeutics firm CSL Ltd added 0.5 percent.
Miner Rio Tinto gained 0.9 percent.
The top gainer, however, was Corporate Travel Management , up as much as 5.3 percent to it highest since November 27.
New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.5 percent, or 41.74 points, to finish at 8,172.6.
The index posted its biggest percentage gain in a week, with telecoms, healthcare and material stocks outperforming.
Telecom Spark New Zealand jumped 2.5 percent in its best one-day performance in over a month, while Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp Ltd rose 1.9 percent. (Reporting by Christina Martin in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill)