Aust stocks close higher

Local market performs well as investors anticipate key releases this week.

The Australian sharemarket traded higher today after positive earnings reports boosted Wall Street but many investors kept to the sidelines, waiting for tomorrow's inflation data and Chinese manufacturing figures.

At the 4.15pm (AEST) official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 25.1 points, or 0.46%, to 5,479.3 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index added 22.3 points, or 0.41%, to 5,467.1 points.

Locally, Oil Search reported a lift in first-quarter production, while opposition leader Bill Shorten delivered a speech outlining his plans for sweeping changes to the party.

In subdued trading after the Easter break, the local market achieved minor gains, IG market strategist Chris Weston said.

"There are quite a few people taking an extended break and that's reflected in the volumes today," he said.

Mr Weston said the positive lead from the US had been offset by a disappointing session in China on Monday.

"We had been hoping for a little bit more of a move but at the same time the Chinese market struggled yesterday so that is probably taking a bit of wind out of the sales," he said.

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