(Updates to close)
SYDNEY, July 31 (Reuters) - Australian shares closed at a fresh six-year high on Thursday, underpinned by the banking sector, though weakness among resource stocks tugged the market lower.
The S&P/ASX 200 index pared earlier gains to add 0.2 percent, or 10 points, finishing at 5,632.9.
For the month, the benchmark index jumped 4.4 percent, its highest monthly percentage gain since July 2013.
New Zealand’s benchmark NZX 50 index added 0.2 percent or 9.4 points to finish the session at 5,168.0. (Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)