Aust stocks rally past 5,000 at close

Local market pares strong early gains to close more than 0.5% higher.

Investors sent the Australian stock market past the key 5000 psychological threshold at the close for the first time in two months, as investors took heart from Japan's endorsement of "Abenomics" and Chinese interest rate reforms.

It comes after a week of lacklustre trade that saw investors repeatedly flirt with the 5000 level before the benchmark inched to a weekly loss of just 0.04%. 

At 1615 AEST official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 0.6% to 5,001.9 points and the broader All Ordinaries index gained 0.59% to 4,988.9 points.

The local benchmark last closed above the 5000 level on 23 May, when it recorded 5062 points.

CMC Markets analyst Tim Waterer said the Japanese election result had kept Abenomics on course, while Chinese interest rate reforms offered "at the very least a symbolic benefit even if they do not deliver any great material impact at this stage".

"While there is some concern over how the removal of the lending rate floor will impact bank performance in the near term, the stance adopted by the PBoC should be to the overall liking of financial markets with a view to there being further liberalisation to come," Mr Waterer said.

IG market analyst Chris Weston said looking ahead, investors are likely to focus more on earnings and outside influences as there are no US Federal Reserve speakers due.

"Sighs of relief can be heard all round; with the Fed having been so influential on price action, it’s certainly welcome to focus on more traditional fundamentals," Mr Weston said.

Financials rose across the board.

Commonwealth Bank gained 0.59% to $71.88, while ANZ Banking Group rose 0.31% to $28.91.

National Australia Bank increased 0.23% to $30.41, while Westpac Banking Corporation put on 0.48% to $29.40.

Investment bank Macquarie Group jumped 3.27% to $45.50.

In the insurance sector, QBE added 2.17% to $16.50, Insurance Australia Group rose 0.68% to $5.89 and Suncorp put on 0.4% to $12.47.

Materials were mixed, with the major miners posting gains.

Rio Tinto gained 0.57% to $56.55, while BHP Billiton added 0.77% to $34.12.

Fortescue Metals slipped 1.08% to $3.68.

Whitehaven Coal gained 2.34% to $2.19, while Newcrest jumped 7.46% to $11.95.

In energy, Santos increased 1.02% to $13.88, Oil Search put on 1.11% to $8.23 and Woodside gained 1.33% to $38.23.

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