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Australia shares slip; iron ore gains buoy miners

MELBOURNE, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Australian shares slipped 0.3 percent on Wednesday, pulling back from 14-month highs after the IMF cut its growth forecasts for a second time, sending shares around most of the region lower.

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The local market was buoyed as benchmark iron ore

climbed 6 percent to $117.20 a tonne, its highest since Aug. 1, according to data provider Steel Index, taking gains to 12.5 percent over the past two days.

. Miners and BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto both ended a touch higher.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index

fell 14.7 points to 4,490.7, according to the latest available data. It rose 0.5 percent to 4,505.3 on Tuesday.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index

fell 0.5 percent to 3,888.1

New Zealand's budget deficit improvement fell short of forecasts, underscoring the government's challenge of returning to surplus in three years.

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(Reporting by Miranda Maxwell; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)

((miranda.maxwell@reuters.com)(Reuters Messaging: miranda.maxwell.reuters.com@reuters.net)(+61-3 9286-1464))

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