Aust stocks close stronger

Banks push local market higher after ECB rate decision boosted sentiment.

The Australian sharemarket closed stronger today, buoyed by gains in the financials sector after the European Central Bank's aggressive measures to stimulate growth boosted sentiment.

At the 4.15pm (AEST) official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 27.1 points, or 0.5%, to 5,464 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index gained 23.8 points, or 0.44%, to 5,443.5 points.

CommSec analyst Juliette Saly said the market got its lead from offshore gains after the ECB's decision overnight to move a key interest rate into negative territory.

"Certainly that positive momentum has helped lift our market and our banks are doing a lot of the heavy lifting," Ms Saly said.

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