SYDNEY, AAP – Investors breathed more easily and helped Australian shares higher after troubled property giant Evergrande said it will pay bond interest.

The market closed modestly higher on Wednesday after the Chinese group committed to paying the first lot of a mountain of debt.

Energy and mining shares were the best performers on the ASX.

Banks closed lower as concerns remain that they may be exposed if Evergrande cannot repay debts.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed higher by 23.1 points, or 0.32 per cent, to 7296.9.

The All Ordinaries closed up by 30.7 points, or 0.41 per cent, to 7593.8.

The Australian dollar was buying 72.54 US cents at 1625 AEST, lower than 72.73 US cents at Tuesday’s close.