SYDNEY, AAP – Australia’s share market was on a broad-based rally, having bettered a poor showing from Wall Street.

Property, technology and healthcare shares were best and gained more than one per cent.

Market giant CSL was up 1.12 per cent to $297.41 while major players in banking and mining struggled for momentum.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was higher by 29 points, or 0.39 per cent, to 7299.2 at 1200 AEST.

The All Ordinaries was up by 29.9 points, or 0.39 per cent, to 7551.9.


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The market has reached new heights in each of the past six trading days, however was yet to do so on Thursday.

Wall Street stocks ended lower as institutional investors wait for US inflation data, due tonight.

They are concerned the economy, rapidly recovering from the coronavirus pandemic, is sending prices higher and higher.

Surging inflation could be a cue for the US Federal Reserve to bring forward a rate increase.

A European Central Bank meeting, also due soon, could reveal when policymakers will begin to withdraw support for Europe’s economy.

The rapid distribution of vaccines in Europe and the US has helped lower infection rates.

Meanwhile in Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said re-opening the nation to foreign visitors would not be based on any set number of vaccinated Australians.

People in Melbourne are enduring their last day of a two-week coronavirus lockdown before the rules ease on Friday.

On the ASX, Woolworths’ takeover of PFD Food Services will go ahead despite concerns the supermarket giant may change food distribution.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has allowed Woolworths to buy 65 per cent of shares in PFD. The purchase will cost $552 million.

ACCC chair Rod Sims said many food suppliers were unconcerned as PFD made up about two per cent of their market.

Woolworths shares were up 0.1 per cent to $42.67.

ASIC has started court action to fine ship-builder Austal and former boss David Singleton for alleged breaches of disclosure rules.

The dispute is about information Austal gave to investors about its Littoral Combat Ship program prior to July 2016.

Shares were down 0.86 per cent to $2.30.

Shares in markets software vendor Iress surged by 9.26 per cent to $11.97 following a media report that investment bank Barrenjoey may buy a stake.

Iress said it had not received any approach.

In banking, ANZ was the only one of the big four lower. Shares dipped 0.27 per cent to $28.65.

The others of the group were higher by less than half a per cent.

The big miners were little changed.

BHP shed 0.39 per cent to $48.48. Fortescue was even at $22.65. Rio Tinto lost 0.2 per cent to $124.54.

The Australian dollar was buying 77.32 US cents at 1200 AEST, lower from 77.42 US cents at Wednesday’s close.