Resources take market to five-year high

The sharemarket has closed at its best level in almost five years, driven by record US market highs and positive Chinese trade data.

The sharemarket has closed at its best level in almost five years, driven by record US market highs and positive Chinese trade data.

Resource stocks led the market to near the 5200-points level, the highest close since August 2008.

At the close on Wednesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index was up 56.1 points, or 1.09 per cent, at 5199.8.

The broader All Ordinaries Index was 55.2 points, or 1.08 per cent, stronger at 5177.9.

CMC Markets senior trader Tim Waterer pointed to record closing highs for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the broad-based S&P 500 giving the market a psychological boost.

That was reinforced by China recording an $US18.2 billion ($17.95 billion) trade surplus in April, reversing a rare deficit in March, following its recent negative manufacturing data.

"There is a heavy concentration of mining stocks in the Australian market, which meant our index reacted well to the healthy picture painted of the Chinese economy," Mr Waterer said. "To maintain those elevated levels traders will want to see a continuation of that good data from some of these major economies such as China."

BHP Billiton was up 1.9 per cent, or 63¢, at $34.30, while Rio Tinto put on 2.6 per cent, or $1.51, to $58.90. Most sectors posted gains, with only defensive health stocks making losses.

The major banks rose, with Westpac up 1.1 per cent, or 37¢, at $32.95, National Australia Bank lifted 42¢, or 1.3 per cent, to $33.37, Commonwealth Bank put on 93¢, or 1.3 per cent, to $71.23 and ANZ closed 27¢, or 0.87 per cent, higher at $31.46.

Seven West Media was a standout performer, after the company said cost-saving initiatives would increase its net profit by more than $75 million in the 2013-14 financial year.

Seven West shares closed up 21¢, or 10.1 per cent, at $2.30.

The price of gold in Sydney was $US1455.64 an ounce, down $US2.76 on Tuesday's closing price of $US1458.40.

National turnover was 1.88 billion securities worth $5.87 billion.

Meanwhile, the dollar bounced back from losses made after the central bank's surprise interest rate cut, thanks partly to some positive Chinese trade figures.

At 5pm, it was trading at US102.01¢, up from US101.90¢ on Tuesday.

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