Australian shares rise to six-month high

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Australian shares rose to a near six-month high on Friday, boosted by Macquarie Group’s jump to record levels, while material and energy stocks further supported the index.

Macquarie, the country’s biggest investment bank, rose as much 4.3 per cent to an all-time high after posting its best first-half profit and upgrading its earnings forecast for the full year.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 5.4 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 5,921.7 at 0033 GMT, paring gains after rising as much as 0.4 per cent earlier. The benchmark rose 0.2 per cent on Thursday.

Healthcare stocks also boosted to the index, with Australian shares of US-based Resmed Inc shooting to a record high after posting a 13 per cent rise in quarterly revenue.

Energy shares rose after Brent oil closed at a 27-month high on Thursday. Oil Search Ltd climbed as much as 1.7 per cent to a five-month high.

A slide in Qantas Airways Ltd limited the gains on the index. Shares of the airline fell as much as 4.6 per cent.

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