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The Australian share market has moved higher despite losses in the heavyweight mining sector.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 36.4 points, or 0.57 per cent, to 6,394.9 points at 1200 AEST on Thursday, while the broader All Ordinaries was up 35.8 points, or 0.56 per cent, to 6,479.4.

Property trusts and utilities were the highest climbers, up 1.95 per cent and 1.80 per cent respectively.

Charter Hall gained 4.31 per cent to $10.88, Abacus was up 2.38 per cent to $4.085, Mirvac increased by 1.64 per cent to $3.10 and Goodman Group added 2.58 per cent to $13.90.

Among utilities, APA Group was up 2.23 per cent to $10.53, AGL was up 1.70 per cent to $20.615 and AusNet was up 1.25 per cent to $1.8175.

The materials sector was the only one on the ASX in negative territory, losing 0.63 per cent.

Mining giant BHP was down 0.55 per cent to $37.335, Rio Tinto was down 1.93 per cent to $97.59 and Fortescue Metals was down 1.82 per cent to $7.805.

The energy sector staged a recovery following falls in morning trade, led higher by Santos after it rose 1.65 per cent to $6.76 on the announcement of a “major oil and gas resource” off Western Australia.

Woodside Petroleum, Oil Search, Origin Energy and Beach Energy were up between 0.15 per cent and 0.83 per cent at midday.

The big big four banks all gained, with ANZ up 0.89 per cent to $28.26, Commonwealth up 0.68 per cent to $79.93, NAB up 0.49 per cent to $26.77, and Westpac up 0.29 per cent to $27.70.

Bank of Queensland was up 0.70 per cent to $9.415 after announcing the appointment of outgoing Westpac executive George Frazis as its managing director and CEO.

Helloworld was up 1.80 per cent to $4.53 after the travel group said it was acquiring New Zealand sports tour group Williment.

The Aussie dollar is buying 69.66 US cents, from 69.98 US cents on Wednesday.