SYDNEY, AAP – Shares have held on in afternoon trading to lift the Australian market to its highest close in more than two months, buoyed by gains in materials and energy stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index ended 19.1 points, or 0.26 per cent higher, at 7406.2 on Friday, recording increases for the fourth straight session.

The index finished nearly 1.5 per cent higher for the week.

The All Ordinaries index closed up 20.9 points, or 0.27 per cent, to 7689.9.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar was buying 75.19 US cents at 1625 AEDT, up from 74.81 US cents at Thursday’s close.