Aust stocks close stronger

Local market gains on expectations of an upbeat US earnings season this week.

The Australian sharemarket rose today, following offshore markets higher as investors eye a strong performance from US companies reporting earnings, as well as Chinese GDP and the start of local resources production season.

At the 4.15pm (AEST) official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 24.6 points, or 0.45%, higher at 5,511.4 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index rose 21.2 points, or 0.39%, at 5,495.8 points.

Macquarie Private Wealth investment adviser John Milroy said the positive lead helped, but much of the heavy lifting was due to a rise in individual stocks.

"Telstra keeps going up on yield plays," Mr Milroy said.

"There's a bit of a good read through from BHP Billiton and Rio," he added, noting discounted prices at their iron ore competitor Fortescue Metals Group, as well as production reports scheduled for this week and next. 

He also noted gains in the Commonwelath Bank, the next of the big four scheduled to report earnings, saying it was "a good hiding place" in the context of low interest rates.

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