Aust stocks close higher

Local market buoyed by resources but finishes just short of five-year highs.

The Australian stock market closed stronger today but failed to reach a five-year high after buying in materials

At the 1615 AEDT official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 0.49% higher at 5,438.7 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index increased 0.52% to 5,449.4 points.

The benchmark index reached an intra-day high of 5,452.4 points, but would have needed to eclipse the October 28 close of 5,457.3 points in order to hit a five-year high.

CMC Markets chief analyst Ric Spooner noted BHP Billiton's lift over $39, which boosted the market.

Gains in BHP and Rio Tinto were a delayed reaction to their upbeat earnings, Mr Spooner said.

"It often takes quite a long time for investors to adjust portfolios," he said.