SYDNEY, AAP – A broad-based rally has helped Australian shares higher by more than one per cent after strong US leads.

ASX technology shares fared best and were up three per cent after Wall Street closed higher on lower than expected inflation figures and easing oil prices.

Afterpay owner Block was up seven per cent to $143.43 on the local market. Another software vendor, WiseTech Global, improved four per cent to $48.78.

There were gains of one per cent for shares in industrials, the consumer categories, healthcare, property, utilities and telecommunications.

The commodity shares of energy and materials were only little higher after oil prices fell to less than $US100 per tonne overnight.


Top Australian Brokers


The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 78.6 points, or 1.11 per cent, to 7176 points at 1200 AEDT.

The index is down about 500 points from its record high in August last year.

The All Ordinaries index was higher by 81.3 points, or 1.11 per cent, to 7437.4 points.

The US S&P 500 and Nasdaq gained two per cent each overnight after producer prices for February did not exceed expectations.

Inflation has been a major threat to investors since global economies rebounded from the pandemic.

Surging energy and commodity prices, spurred by Russia invading Ukraine, have taken US inflation to 40-year records.

The US Federal Reserve is tipped to raise rates this week by a quarter of a per cent to slow rising prices.

In company news, Magellan Financial Group will run an on-market share buyback for about five per cent of its stock.

The company flagged the buyback in its first-half earnings in February.

Magellan was up five per cent to $14.62.

The banks were all higher. ANZ was the only one to have gains of one per cent or more and improved to $27.13.

Insurer Suncorp said its net retained loss for the floods affecting NSW and Queensland remained at $75 million.

The company’s reinsurance will help offset the costs of more than 34,000 claims made to Suncorp.

Suncorp was up less than one per cent to $11.10.

The big miners were mixed. BHP slipped less than half a per cent to $45.20. Fortescue improved by one per cent to $17.37. Rio Tinto gained less than half a per cent to $107.25.

Mining explorer Helix Resources will raise about $13 million through a share sale to improve its search for copper in NSW.

Professional investors will buy $11 million in shares to help Helix better explore the Cobar region.

Helix was down six per cent to one cent.

The Australian dollar was buying 71.82 US cents at 1200 AEDT, the same as at Tuesday’s close.