Aust stocks close higher

Local market lifts after mixed earnings, strong GDP figures from Japan.

The Australian stock market has closed higher after mixed local earnings, a dividend payout from the Commonwealth Bank and upbeat data from Japan and China.

At the 1615 AEDT official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 0.5% at 5,382.9 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index increased 0.52%, to 5,394.8 points.

IG chief market strategist Chris Weston said the gain today followed a 3.7% increase in the benchmark last week, buoyed by strong developed markets, stable emerging markets, improved China data and good corporate earnings on lowered expectations.

"The fact that the bar had been lowered by the analyst community going into this earnings season is key," Mr Weston said.

"If you take into account good United States leads, strong China financing data (released over the weekend), an upside beat in Japan's Q4 GDP, some fairly mixed earnings from names like Bendigo Bank, UGL, Ansell, Australand and Aurizon, you have a market that is up 0.4 per cent.

"Commonwealth Bank paid its $1.83 dividend, which has naturally taken some of the wind out of the index’s sails, but the ASX 200 seems to be holding the former downtrend drawn from the October 2013 high and a few days above 5366, which could mean a move to 5400 is on the cards."

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