Australian shares up 0.5 pct as Cyprus deal brings some relief

Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:29am EDT
 
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(Adds details, comments)
    SYDNEY, March 25 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose 0.5
percent on Monday, led by strength in the banking sector, as
investors took heart from Cyprus reaching a last ditch agreement
with international lenders for a 10 billion euro bailout, though
the market came off highs once details of the plan became clear.
    Under terms of the accord, Cyprus will shut down its second
largest bank, inflicting heavy losses on uninsured depositors,
including wealthy Russians. 
   The S&P/ASX 200 index gained 22.9 points to close at
4,990.2, coming off an intraday high of 5023.2, according to the
latest data. The benchmark inched up 0.2 percent on Friday, but
fell 3 percent for the week.
   New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index shed 0.1 percent
to 4,340.7.
        

 (Reporting by Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by Simon
Cameron-Moore)