Aust stocks close sharply higher

Banks and mining stocks buoy the local market amid lower than average volumes.

The Australian sharemarket has rebounded from yesterday's losses to close more than 1.4% higher today, boosted by buying in the banks and miners.

At the 4.15pm (AEST) official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index added 1.48%, or 79.5 points, to 5,455.4 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index lifted 1.4%, or 75.2 points, to 5,441.7 points.

Volumes were noticeably lower than average today, with the major miners and banks supporting the overall market, Macquarie Private Wealth senior private client adviser James Rosenberg said. 

"You quite often get bigger moves with smaller volumes," Mr Rosenberg said.

By late afternoon, the four major banks had put on almost 25 points, around a third of the overall gain, with BHP adding another 10 points, he said.

"It's a broad-based rally but large cap stocks are driving."

The local gains followed fresh highs for Wall Street overnight, with investors undeterred by official local data showing Australia's trade balance widened significantly more than expected in May to $1.911 billion.

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