SYDNEY, AAP – Australia’s main share market index briefly rose higher than 7000 points, then closed at its highest level since the coronavirus crash.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed up 70.8 points, or 1.02 per cent, to 6998.8.

The index rose as high as 7012.4 just after 1130 AEST, before easing.

The index has closed at its highest level since the market plunged in February last year, as investors hurriedly sold shares as the pandemic unfolded.

The All Ordinaries on Thursday closed higher by 72.9 points, or 1.02 per cent, to 7250.3 points.

The Australian dollar was buying 76.35 US cents at 1619 AEST, lower from 76.46 US cents at Wednesday’s close.