SYDNEY, AAP – National Australia Bank delighted investors with its earnings report and enthusiasm for technology shares helped the ASX to gains.

The bank on Thursday reported first-quarter cash earnings up nine per cent and investors responded by raising shares by four per cent to $29.67.

Technology shares were the best performing category and rose two per cent after similar momentum from Wall Street.

Afterpay owner Block rose nine per cent to $158.01.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed up 20.2 points, or 0.28 per cent, to 7288.5 points.

The All Ordinaries index closed higher by 22.7 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 7595.5 points.

The Australian dollar was buying 71.73 US cents at 1619 AEDT, higher than 71.67 US cents at Wednesday’s close.