Aust stocks close higher

Local bourse closes higher but pares gains ahead of Thanksgiving Day after a strong open on Wall Street records.

The Australian stock market has continued to pare early gains throughout the day to close slightly higher after a strong open that followed a fresh record on the Dow Jones.

At the official market close of 1615 AEDT the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index added 0.32% to 5,352.8 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index increased 0.3% to 5,346.1 points.

Invast Securities chief market analyst Peter Esho said with Wall Street set for an interrupted week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the Australian market lacked drive.

"US markets are at historically high levels, so some of that is flowing through to our market," Mr Esho said.

But both the US and Australian stock markets were looking pretty expensive at the moment, with prices above earnings expectations, he said.

Financials were mostly higher.

ANZ rose 0.35% to $31.79 and Commonwealth Bank slipped 0.29% to $76.27.

National Australia Bank lifted 0.53% to $34.10 and Westpac edged up 0.06% to $32.52.

Investment bank Macquarie Group gained 1.03% to $55.06.

In insurance, IAG rose 0.16% to $6.13, Suncorp lifted 0.89% to $13.67 and QBE dropped 1.07% to $15.78.