Aust stocks close stronger

Local market continues to trade at its highest level since mid-2008.

The Australian sharemarket is stronger at the close, reaching its highest level since June 2008.

Financials buoyed the index as investors anticipate promising earnings reports starting with ANZ Group on Thursday next week.

At the 4.15pm (AEST) official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 38.5 points, or 0.7%, at 5,517.8 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index gained 35.1 points, or 0.64%, to 5,502.2 points.

In local news, official data showed inflation was softer than expected in the March quarter. The consumer price index (CPI) lifted by 0.6% in the three months to March 31, bringing the annual rate to 2.9%, just within the Reserve Bank of Australia's target band of 2-3% annual inflation.

Upbeat Wall Street leads also fed through the local market today with the pharmaceuticals sector helping to push US stocks higher.

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