AN AGREEMENT for a second bailout deal for Greece buoyed the local market, with all sectors moving into positive territory as investor confidence strengthened.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 35.1 points, or 0.82 per cent, to 4291.2, while the broader All Ordinaries ended 35.4 points ahead at 4368.2.
News that euro zone finance ministers had sealed a deal for a ?130 billion ($160 billion) bailout for Greece reached the local market around mid-afternoon, sending stocks and metals prices higher.
The deal will reduce Greece's debt to gross domestic product ratio back to 120.5 per cent by 2020. It will also force private holders of Greek debt to take a 53 per cent writedown on their investments.
The news was well received and key to the local market's performance, said John Curtin, associate director with Patersons Securities. "The positive is that they've got the deal done - unlike other deals - earlier than when the deadline was. So, that's going to be good for confidence," he said. "It also gets it out of the way because the next big hurdle now will be looking at the Italian bond renewal that needs to be done by the end of March."
Market leader BHP Billiton rose 42? to $36.44, while Rio Tinto gained $1.12, or 1.65 per cent, to $69.16.
The banks also strengthened, with National Australia Bank leading the big four higher, gaining 22? to $23.40. Commonwealth Bank shares performed strongly, nearly clawing back Monday's fall when the shares started trading without a dividend. The stock finished 37? higher at $49.47.
Wesfarmers traded without its 70? dividend yesterday, but also clawed back much of the fall to finish just 20? lower at $29.65.
In corporate news, OneSteel posted a $74 million first-half net loss but was bullish about its growth through its mining interests. Shares in Australia's second-biggest steel maker rose 9?, 12.33 per cent, to 82?.
Train manufacturer and engineering firm Downer EDI said strong gains in its mining division helped it return to profitability, and the company expects solid results this year. Downer rose 22?, or 5.91 per cent, to $3.94.
Preliminary national turnover reached two billion shares, worth $4.7 billion. The March share price index futures contract was up 31 points at 4276.