SYDNEY, AAP – Investors have spotted plenty of bargains on the Australian share market and helped recover the losses of the past two days and push prices higher.

The market was up more than one per cent as all industry categories traded higher.

Energy shares climbed almost two per cent after big falls in oil prices earlier this week on COVID-19 concerns.

Oil Search was up 4.74 per cent to $4.08 one day after confirming Santos made an unsolicited takeover proposal.

Santos was better by 2.38 per cent to $6.64.

There were gains of more than one per cent for the heavyweight categories of materials and financials, as well as property and consumer discretionaries.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was higher by 83.5 points, or 1.15 per cent, at 7335.7.

The All Ordinaries was up 85.5 points, or 1.13 per cent, to 7611.3.

Wall Street set the pace earlier after upbeat earnings reports and revived economic optimism inspired a rally.

Second-quarter reporting season has hit full stride, with 56 of the companies in the S&P 500 having posted results. Of those, 91 per cent have beaten consensus, according to Refinitiv.

The three major US indices gained more than one per cent.

Those same indices shed more than one per cent a day earlier on concerns that the COVID-19 Delta variant may stifle economic recovery.

Those concerns were realised in Australian retail sales figures for June.

Sales fell 1.8 per cent due to coronavirus lockdowns across the country.

Some economists are predicting the wider economy will contract in the September quarter due to half the population being in lockdown from this week.

On the ASX, one of the big movers was Australian Strategic Materials.

Shares climbed 8.91 per cent to $8.06 after a deal with South Korean investors.

The $340 million deal gives the investors a 20 per cent stake in the holding company of ASM’s rare earths site in NSW.

ASM’s Korean metals plant will also benefit via an offtake agreement for its neodymium-iron-boron alloy.

Lendlease has sold its services business to Service Stream for $310 million.

The property group has sold its engineering business and US telecommunications and energy operations in recent times.

Shares were up 2.01 per cent to $11.66.

Online shopping business Kogan claimed better earnings and profit in June than the previous two months.

The company reported 2021 full-year earnings were up 23.1 per cent on the previous financial year to $11.5 million.

Shares were better by 0.68 per cent to $11.81.

The big miners were thriving. BHP gained 1.54 per cent to $50.00. Fortescue climbed 1.5 per cent to $25.55. Rio Tinto was up 1.36 per cent to $126.12.

BlueScope Steel surged by 2.61 per cent to $22.16.

In banking, ANZ and NAB were best of the big four and each gained 1.39 per cent.

ANZ shares last traded for $27.70. NAB shares last sold for $25.82.

The Commonwealth and Westpac rose by less than one per cent.

The Australian dollar was buying 73.20 US cents, up from 73.16 US cents at Tuesday’s close.