Aust stocks close higher

Local markets higher at the close on improved Asian markets and mining performance.

The Australian sharemarket closed higher today, with all major sectors registering improvement after Chinese first quarter GDP beat expectations and Japanese equities achieved solid gains.

At the 4.15pm (AEST) official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 32.3 points, or 0.6%, to 5,5420.3 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index gained 32.3 points, or 0.6%, to 5,412.6.

IG chief market strategist Chris Weston said BHP Billiton produced a solid production report, after the major miner lifted its FY iron ore guidance and registered solid growth in Q3 production.

"But the gains in the stock seem to be driven by top down forces rather than a general good-will towards the report," Mr Weston said.

"The ASX 200 found good buyers going into afternoon trade, with all sectors finding love.

"Moves in Japan and China have helped, but it’s interesting to see the 30-day correlation between the ASX 200 and both markets is still fairly low."

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