THE sharemarket closed strongly higher, pushing through the 4400-mark to its highest close in 10 days, supported by miners that were buoyed by data showing manufacturing in China at a 13-month high.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index jumped 43.6 points, or 1 per cent, to 4413.1, while the broader All Ordinaries added 41.7 points, or 0.9 per cent, to 4432.4.
All the major sectors posted gains, with telecommunications up 1.8 per cent, consumer staples up 1.1 per cent and materials and financials rising 0.9 per cent.
"In terms of impact of the sector on the overall market, the fact that the miners and the financials combined make up around 60 per cent of the market, when both of those sectors improve pretty much the whole market does," said CommSec analyst Steven Daghlian.
China's manufacturing sector gave the latest indication of recovery when the HSBC Flash Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index rose to a 13-month high of 50.4. A measurement above 50 indicates the sector is expanding.
"When the manufacturing sector is looking good in China, it's a positive sign that it could lead to higher demand for Australian commodities down the track," Mr Daghlian said.
This helped the dollar reach a high of $US1.0402 for the day, before falling back to around $US1.0385.
Both the big miners posted gains, with BHP up 1 per cent to $33.69, while rival Rio Tinto added 0.2 per cent to $57.08. Iron ore miner Fortescue failed to cash in on the positive data from China, falling 2.6 per cent to $3.80.
Among the banks, CBA jumped 1.4 per cent to $58.67, Westpac rose 0.9 per cent to $24.83 and ANZ added 0.9 per cent to $23.74. NAB bucked the trend, slipping 0.1 per cent to $23.64.
Rare-earths miner Lynas jumped 7.1 per cent to 67.5? after it said its controversial processing plant in Malaysia would probably be at near-full production next month.
Telstra pushed to fresh four-year highs, rising 1.9 per cent to $4.27. It is enjoying a nice run in 2012, up 28.2 per cent.
Retail shares pulled back some lost ground. Department store Myer jumped 2.4 per cent to $2.15, while David Jones rose 1.2 per cent to $2.44 after disappointing the market on Wednesday when it released its sales numbers for the first quarter.
Wesfarmers pushed up 1.6 per cent to $34.94, while Woolworths inched up 0.5 per cent to $28.62.