SYDNEY, AAP – Shares closed higher for the fifth day of the past six on the ASX, although the gains were least of the recent positive period.

A broad-based rally on Wednesday helped the market higher by half a per cent and overcame a negative contribution from commodity shares.

Technology shares were best and closed higher by three per cent.

Materials was the only category to move lower. It dropped 0.39 per cent.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed up 36.8 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 7377.9 points.

The index is less than 300 points from its record high in August last year.

The All Ordinaries index closed higher by 44.3 points, or 0.58 per cent, to 7665 points.

The Australian dollar was buying 74.54 US cents at 1620 AEDT, higher from 73.88 US cents at Tuesday’s close.