SYDNEY, AAP – Australia’s share market has closed higher, helped by the commodity-based sectors of materials and energy, as well as health.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index closed higher by 56.2 points, or 0.83 per cent, to 6834.0 on Thursday.

The All Ordinaries was higher by 56.3 points, or 0.8 per cent, at 7105.7.

There were gains of more than one per cent for the materials, energy and health sectors.

The Australian dollar continued to climb towards 80 US cents and at one stage was buying 79.78 US cents.

The dollar had eased to 79.71 US cents at 1617 AEDT, higher from 79.11 US cents at Wednesday’s close.