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For the first time since the coronavirus crisis began, Australian shares have gained for two straight days, rallying in the final minutes of trade on reports that US politicians have reached a deal on a massive US stimulus deal to shore up the world’s biggest economy.

The S&P/ASX200 powered almost six per cent in early trade, faded before noon and then gained 153 points in the last 15 minutes of the day to close Wednesday up 262.4 points or 5.54 per cent, to 4,998.1

The All Ordinaries index finished up 252.9 points, or 5.32 per cent, higher at 5,006.2.

The Australian dollar was buying over 60 US cents for the first time in a week, trading at 60.07 US cents, up from 59.39 US as the market closed on Tuesday.