Aust stocks close 1% stronger

Local market pushes higher as activity picks up in China's manufacturing sector.

The Australian sharemarket extended morning gains to close 1 per cent stronger today as activity picked up in China's manufacturing sector and the iron ore price edged higher.

At the 4.15pm (AEST) official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 55.3 points, or 1.02%, to 5,479.9, while the broader All Ordinaries index gained 54.2 points, or 1%, to 5,458.1.

The HSBC flash China manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) rose to a five-month high in May, although it remains in contraction.

IG market strategist Stan Shamu said the reading "finally brought some cheer for Asian equities with good gains across the major bourses".

Meanwhile, the iron ore price edged up overnight, but remains below $US100 a tonne. 

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