The Australian share market has broken a four-day losing streak and ended the day higher, with energy and materials stocks leading the gains.
After a shaky start, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 closed up 19.5 points, or 0.31 per cent, at 6,215.4 points on Thursday, while the broader All Ordinaries index gained 15.3 points, or 0.24 per cent, at 6,305.8 points.
CMC Markets chief market strategist Michael McCarthy said it was a surprisingly positive day on the ASX after a negative lead from Wall Street overnight.
“There was a strong performance from the energy sector today after another surge in oil prices and that updraft appeared to extend to the other resources, with the materials sector also strongly up today,” he said.
Oil and gas producer Santos soared 2.6 per cent to $6.28, Oil Search jumped two per cent to $8.86, Woodside Petroleum rose 1.8 per cent to $35.68 and Origin Energy advanced 1.3 per cent to $10.11.
The rising oil price also boosted BHP, which has a big petroleum business, with the resource giant lifting 1.8 per cent to $33.82, while iron ore-focused rival Rio Tinto gained 1.2 per cent to $83.07.
Gold miners surged despite prices for the precious metal dropping as the US dollar continues to rally, with Newcrest adding 1.9 per cent to $21.89, Northern Star advancing 2.7 per cent to $7.19 and Evolution Mining up 1.2 per cent to $3.51.
Mr McCarthy said the climbing oil price was likely to be behind the dip in Qantas shares, given fuel is a crucial input for airlines.
Qantas, which announced on Thursday former Wesfarmers boss Richard Goyder will be its new chairman, fell 2.7 per cent to $6.16.
The major four banks closed in positive territory, with the Commonwealth Bank leading the gains, up 0.9 per cent to $73.23.
In companies news, AMP shares remains at around a 15-year low after news late on Wednesday that ASIC has launched Federal Court action against the wealth manager over allegations its advisers pushed customers into less suitable insurance policies purely to win commissions.
After falling to as low as $3.53, their lowest since August 2003, AMP shares closed up 0.6 per cent at $3.59.
Miner Atlas Iron was steady at 4.3 cents after the Western Australian government signalled it could soften its stance on rights to undeveloped Port Hedland port capacity.
Meanwhile, the Australian dollar was trading at its lowest level in around 18 months against a resurgent US greenback.
The local currency was trading at 73.33 US cents at 1700 AEST, from 73.83 US cents on Wednesday.
ON THE ASX:
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 closed up 19.5 points, or 0.31 per cent, at 6,215.4 points
* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 15.3 points, or 0.24 per cent, at 6,305.8 points
* The SPI200 futures contract was up 34 points, or 0.55 per cent, at 6,172
* National turnover was 2.8 billion securities traded worth $6.4 billion
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1700 AEST:
One Australian dollar buys:
* 73.33 US cents, from 73.83 on Wednesday
* 80.92 Japanese yen, from 81.07 yen
* 63.58 euro cents, from 63.29 euro cents
* 56.09 British pence, from 55.80 pence
* 108.43 NZ cents, from 108.23 cents
The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEST was $US1,250.05 per fine ounce, from $US1,257.27 per fine ounce on Wednesday.
BOND SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEST:
* CGS 4.50 per cent May 2021, 2.0594pct, from 2.0805pct on Wednesday
* CGS 4.75pct May 2028, 2.6172pct, from 2.6282pct
Sydney Futures Exchange prices:
* September 2018 10-year bond futures contract at 97.375 (implying a yield of 2.625pct), from 97.365 (implying a yield of 2.635pct) on Wednesday
* September 2018 3-year bond futures contract at 97.92 (2.08pct), from 97.9 (2.10pct).