Investors rally after Dow's record high

The sharemarket closed at a 4-year high as investors joined the global buying spree.

The sharemarket closed at a 4-year high as investors joined the global buying spree.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 surged 0.8 per cent on Wednesday to finish at its highest since September 2008, beating the recent peak from late February.

It closed up 41.4 points at 5116.8, while the All Ordinaries rose 42.8 points, or 0.84 per cent, to 5130.9.

CMC Markets senior trader Tim Waterer said markets in Australia and elsewhere in the Asian region "revelled" after the historic session on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones posted a record high.

"Traders on the Australian market did not need a second invitation to join in on the proceedings, with the ASX 200 surging through 5100 with aplomb," Mr Waterer said.

The local rally was mirrored in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo, with all posting healthy gains in afternoon trade.

In Australia, the big banks, energy stocks and the consumer discretionary sector were among the better performers on a day of broad-based gains. ANZ ended up 36¢ at $29.23, Commonwealth Bank climbed 63¢ to $69.31, National Australia Bank finished 24¢ higher at $30.83 and Westpac advanced 41¢ to $31.66.

Energy stocks were the best-performing sector, rising 1.42 per cent. In percentage terms, Woodside posted the largest rise among stocks in the heavyweight S&P/ASX 20, advancing 1.42 per cent, or 52¢, to $37.15.

"It was a well-rounded performance from the market ... with all the big-name blue chips having solid outings," Mr Waterer said.

"With the latest GDP data coming and going without incident, traders were given no reason to pull the reins."

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said the national economy grew by 0.6 per cent in the December quarter, broadly in line with market expectations.

Other stocks that finished higher included JB Hi-Fi, which led the consumer discretionary sector after rallying 4 per cent, or 54¢, to $13.98. The spot price of gold in Sydney closed at $US1579.30 an ounce, down $US2.65.

Meanwhile, the dollar has reached its highest level in more than a week at US102.84¢, up from US102.44¢. It reached US103.02¢ during Wednesday's session, its highest since February 25.

Westpac chief currency strategist Robert Rennie said the dollar received a boost after the Dow's record high.

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