SYDNEY, AAP – Shares have set a record closing level on the Australian market after a broad-based rally of more than one per cent.

Gains of more than two per cent for energy and materials shares were the driving force.

Shares in market giant BHP closed higher by 3.13 per cent to $51.45, just shy of their record price.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed higher by 77.7 points, or 1.06 per cent, to 7386.4 on Thursday.

The previous record was 7386.1.

The All Ordinaries closed up 78 points, or 1.03 per cent, to 7658.9.

The Australian dollar was buying 73.65 US cents at 1622 AEST, up from 72.98 US cents at Wednesday’s close.