SYDNEY, AAP – Shares on the Australian market have followed Wall Street higher despite US inflation recording its highest level in 40 years.

The market was about half a per cent higher on Thursday and there were big gains for the mining heavyweights.

The iron ore price climbed to about $US130 per tonne after miners in Brazil suspended work this week due to heavy rain.

BHP and Rio Tinto each gained a little more than three per cent.

Fortescue Metals improved by a little more than two per cent.


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Energy shares also did well after the oil price moved higher on coronavirus supply uncertainty.

Beach, Santos and Woodside each gained a little more than one per cent.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 42.1 points, or 0.56 per cent, to 7481 points at 1200 AEDT.

The All Ordinaries index was higher by 42.9 points, or 0.55 per cent, to 7805.1 points.

US markets closed higher despite headline inflation reaching seven per cent for the 12 months through December.

Despite the 40-year record, investors said the figure was expected and they did not expect the US Federal Reserve to raise rates sooner.

In Australia, federal and state leaders will hold a national cabinet meeting to discuss issues including supply shortages caused by surging coronavirus infections.

Food manufacturers and distributors, as well as other businesses, have been challenged by staff having to isolate due to being infected.

On the ASX, private equity group Blackstone has increased its bid for Crown Resorts and this time the casino operator looks likely to accept.

Blackstone raised its bid by 60 cents per share to $13.10 per share, which equates to an $8.87 billion proposal.

Crown said it was in shareholders’ interests to discuss the offer further and the company will encourage Blackstone to make a binding bid.

Shares were up 8.25 per cent to $12.59.

Technology shares were the least popular category and lost almost one per cent.

Afterpay dropped three per cent after gaining 4.75 per cent the previous day from progress in its merger with payments giant Block. Shares last swapped for $74.69.

The major banks including Bendigo were all higher but by no more than one per cent.

Cosmetics provider BWX will have a new man in charge from March 1 in what the company said was an orderly succession.

Chief operating officer Rory Gration will take the top job after more than three years at the business.

Incumbent Dave Fenlon will remain on the board.

Shares were down 14.44 per cent to $3.73.

The Australian dollar was buying 72.82 US cents at 1200 AEDT, higher from 72.17 US cents at Wednesday’s close.