* Benchmark set for fifth straight weekly gain
* Miners lose steam, fall up to 0.7%
* NZ's Fonterra narrows 2020/21 farmgate milk price forecast
Dec 4 (Reuters) - Australian shares gained modestly on
Friday as financials kept the benchmark afloat, offsetting
losses in miners following a record rally in the previous
session on the back of rising iron ore prices and a lowered
forecast from Brazilian miner Vale.
The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.2% to 6,626.0 by 2345
GMT, and was on track for its fifth consecutive weekly gain,
likely adding 0.4%.
Financials were the biggest boosts to the index,
jumping 0.7%, with all "Big Four" banks trading in the black.
Top lender Commonwealth Bank of Australia rose 0.8%,
while conglomerate Macquarie Group advanced 2.2%,
extending gains from the previous session.
However, financials were set to snap a four-week winning
streak, losing about 0.5%.
Top drags on the index, miners fell up to 0.7%,
losing momentum after three straight gain sessions on the back
of a rally in iron ore prices and a downgraded forecast by
Brazil's Vale SA.
BHP Group slipped 0.5% after a nearly 5% jump in
the previous session, while Rio Tinto fell up to 0.8%
after closing at a 12-year high. Fortescue Metals Group
dropped from its record level, losing as much as 0.7%.
The healthcare sector hit its lowest in a month,
with ASX-listed Resmed Inc and Fisher & Paykel
Healthcare losing up to 1.6% and 2.3%, respectively.
Meanwhile, a media report said Pfizer, with which
Australia has a COVID-19 vaccine supply agreement, had decided
to slash the 2020 production target for its COVID-19 vaccine
owing to supply chain challenges.
Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50
index was trading little changed, after erasing gains of
up to 0.5% earlier in the session.
Dairy exporter Fonterra inched higher after it
lifted the bottom end of its farmgate milk price for the 2020/21
season on strong demand for its product in China, and across
(Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Tom