The share market gained ground as demand for energy, healthcare and some financial stocks offset the impact of weaker commodity prices on miners.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index gained 0.3 per cent to 6,054.7 points, with most sectors in positive territory.
Macquarie Private Wealth division director Martin Lakos said several factors contributed to a solid run.
“The ongoing synchronised upswing in international markets, a better-than-anticipated reporting season out of the US, as well as a strong quarterly report at Santos … broadly speaking it’s a solid day,” he said.
In Australia, the pre-reporting season, or “confession season”, has been very benign, Mr Lakos said, with more profit upgrades than downgrades so far.
“And that potentially is a driver for the market to go higher down the track,” Mr he said.
Only the materials sector faltered, on weaker base metals, copper and iron ore prices, with Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals all 0.4 per cent lower.
Santos added 1.2 per cent to $5.24 after reporting a 20 per cent bump in annual revenue, while Oil Search gained 2.7 per cent to $7.90 and Woodside Petroleum was 1.3 per cent stronger at $33.90.
Healthcare stocks were led by giants CSL, Resmed and Cochlear, with the latter the strongest performer, adding 3.5 per cent to $171.
The big four banks were mixed, with Westpac up 0.4 per cent, ANZ and National Australia Bank about 0.2 per cent higher, while Commonwealth Bank dropped 0.8 per cent.
QBE Insurance regained ground from Tuesday’s fall, which followed its forecast of an annual loss of US1.2 billion, adding 5.4 per cent to $10.99
Infant formula supplier Wattle Health rose 4.8 per cent to $1.975 after its second-quarter sales soared and the company said further growth is in the post, following new distribution licenses and agreements in Australia and China.
The Australian dollar edged higher to again break through 80 US cents.
ON THE ASX:
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was up 17.7 points, or 0.29 per cent, at 6,054.7 points
* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 18.1 points, or 0.29 per cent, at 6,168.8 points
* The SPI200 futures contract was up 13 points, or 0.2 per cent, at 5,999 points
* National turnover was 3.9 billion securities traded worth $5.9 billion.
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1700 AEDT:
One Australian dollar buys:
* 80.17 US cents, from 79.90 US cents on Tuesday
* 88.13 Japanese yen, from 88.56 yen
* 65.03 euro cents, from 65.18 euro cents
* 57.13 British pence, from 57.15 pence
* 108.83 NZ cents, from 109.02 NZ cents
The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEDT was $US1,341.99 per fine ounce, from $US1,335.57 per fine ounce on Tuesday.
BOND SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEDT:
* CGS 4.50 per cent April 2020, 2.0796pct, from 2.083pct on Tuesday
* CGS 4.75pct April 2027, 2.7827pct, from 2.7855pct
Sydney Futures Exchange prices:
* March 2018 10-year bond futures contract at 97.17 (implying a yield of 2.83pct), from 97.165 (2.835pct) on Tuesday
* March 2018 3-year bond futures contract at 97.74 (2.26pct), from 97.735 (2.265pct).
(*Bond market closes taken at 1630 AEDT previous local session; currency closes taken from 1700 AEDT previous local session)