SYDNEY, AAP – Australia’s share market was broadly higher after the US Federal Reserve deferred reducing stimulus and concerns eased about property giant Evergrande.

The market was higher by more than one per cent at 1200 AEST on Thursday as investors took offshore events in their stride and followed the US lead.

Technology and energy shares were the best on the ASX. Afterpay climbed 4.5 per cent to $131.92.

US stocks ended sharply higher after the Federal Reserve’s decision to defer easing its monthly bond purchases.

The central bank suggested interest rate increases may follow the easing of stimulus more quickly than expected.

Stocks were already higher before the Federal Reserve news.

Troubled Chinese group Evergrande said it would settle interest payments with bondholders, calming fears of a default that could unleash financial chaos.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was higher by 77.9 points, or 1.06 per cent, to 7374.8.

The All Ordinaries was up by 86.3 points, or 1.13 per cent, to 7680.1.

In company news, Premier Investments posted a pyjamas-led record full-year profit after benefiting from rent reductions following the temporary closure of stores during the pandemic.

The Solomon Lew chaired company, which owns stores such as Smiggle and Peter Alexander, generated a record bottom-line net profit of $271.8 million, up 97.3 per cent, for the year ended July 31.

Premier declared a final dividend for investors of 46 cents per share, taking the payout for the year to 80 cents.

Shares were up 3.24 per cent to $27.68.

The big iron ore miners were higher. Fortescue was best of the trio and rose 2.66 per cent to $15.78.

Investment group Washington H.Soul Pattinson had full-year profit drop 71 per cent due to an accounting gain on TPG the year prior.

The company’s best investments for the 12 months to July 31 were Brickworks, coalminer New Hope and Round Oak Minerals.

Investors will be paid a fully franked final dividend of 36 cents per share. This is higher than the previous final payout of 35 cents per share.

Shares were up 4.77 per cent to $37.32.

In banking, the big four were higher. ANZ was best and rose 1.29 per cent to $27.44.

Brickworks posted higher full-year earnings from its Australian and North American businesses.

Net profit after tax fell 20 per cent to $239 million for the 12 months to July 31, although this was due to a prior year profit in its stake in Washington H Soul Pattinson.

The final dividend of 40 cents per share was higher than the previous final payout of 39 cents per share.

Shares were up 1.87 per cent to $24.93.

The Australian dollar was buying 72.37 US cents at 1200 AEST, lower than 72.54 US cents at Wednesday’s close.