May 11, 2018 / 6:41 AM / 3 months ago

Aussie shares rise for 6th straight week; NZ at record high

* Australian shares snap 4 straight sessions of gains

* New Zealand largely boosted by healthcare stocks (Updates to close)

May 11 (Reuters) - Australian shares ended largely flat on Friday, as a positive lead from Wall Street plus gains across materials were largely offset by falling financials.

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed down 2.5 points at 6,116.2.

But the benchmark ended the week about 0.9 percent higher, rising for the sixth straight week.

U.S. stocks rose overnight as softer inflation in the country hinted at a less aggressive Fed for the year, which bodes well for equities.

Australian material stocks rose, with mining stocks in particular gaining on firmer metal prices.

Global miners BHP and Rio Tinto were the main boosts to the benchmark, with both ending more than 1 percent higher. Rio Tinto ended at a near 7-year high.

The Australian metals and mining index stood at a more than 6-year high.

Consumer discretionary stocks were also higher, with media house Seven West Media ending more than 1 percent up.

On the other hand, financial stocks weighed on the index, with the big four banks barring Australia And New Zealand Banking Group falling between 0.6 and 0.9 percent. Westpac and CBA were the largest drags on the benchmark.

Embattled wealth manager AMP Ltd also dragged on the index, falling about 6 percent to a near 6-year low.

New Zealand shares ended at a record high, gaining for an eighth straight session as healthcare stocks led gains.

The benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.5 percent or 38.97 points to finish at 8,676.69, gaining about 1.5 percent for the week.

Ryman Healthcare and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp bolstered the index by about 25 points. Both stocks were also the top intraday gainers on the benchmark.

Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill

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