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SYDNEY, June 27 (Reuters) - Australian shares slipped 0.4 percent on Friday, as investors remained wary after U.S. stocks dipped on worries that an interest rate hike could come sooner than expected, though gains in the defensive sector kept the market in check.
The S&P/ASX 200 index lost 19.2 points to 5,445.1 at the close of trade after touching a 2-1/2-week high of 5,480.1 earlier in the session. The benchmark climbed 1.2 percent on Thursday, and added 0.5 percent for the week, its best weekly performance since the end of April.
New Zealand’s benchmark NZX 50 index added 0.3 percent or 14.1 points to finish the session at 5,144.2. (Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)