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SYDNEY, July 17 (Reuters) - Australian shares slipped 0.1 percent at the end of trade on Wednesday after Wall Street ended lower overnight ahead of testimony by the U.S. Federal Reserve chairman, but a rise in metals prices and a robust production report from BHP Billiton helped pare losses.
The S&P/ASX 200 index slipped 4.3 points to finish at 4,981.7. The benchmark edged 0.1 percent higher on Tuesday. New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index edged 0.1 percent or 2.4 points higher to finish the session at 4,579. (Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Ron Popeski)