Australian shares are higher as positive US retail sales figures boost banking, mining and luxury consumer stocks.
The local share market had lost a bit of puff after opening strongly but was in still a firm position, Lonsec senior client adviser Michael Heffernan said.
"The better performance in America has been the major catalyst for our performance today," he said.
Wall Street finished firmer after official data showed US retail sales rose by a stronger-than-expected 0.2 per cent in December.
Locally, consumer discretionary stocks were the strongest sector, rising 1.36 per cent, with Crown Resorts rising 2.63 per cent, or 46 cents, to $17.55.
Among the big miners, Rio Tinto was a strong performer among the market giants, jumping by 1.5 per cent, or 95 cents, to $64.30.
Iron ore miner Fortescue was up 22 cents, or 4.27 per cent, to $5.37, after it announced it had paid back $US1.6 billion ($A1.79 billion) of debt early lowering its total pile to below $US10 billion.
Oz Minerals shares were up 15.64 per cent, or 48 cents, at $3.55, after the gold and copper miner said it had realised its production guidance and expects a boost in production and lower costs in 2014.
But gold miner Newcrest was among the weaker stocks, losing 30 cents, or 3.41 per cent, to $8.50 as the overall gold sector shed 2.56 per cent, and diversified miner BHP Billiton was one cent lower at $36.003.
Among the big four banks, the Commonwealth was up 58 cents at $76.38, ANZ had gained 28 cents to $31.07, Westpac had lifted eight cents to $31.59 and NAB was 21 cents higher at $33.78.
Telco Telstra was 1.5 cents higher at $5.22.
- At 1200 AEDT on Wednesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 34.2 points, or 0.66 per cent, at 5,246.2.
- The broader All Ordinaries index was up 35 points, or 0.67 per cent, at 5,254.8.
- The March share price index futures contract was 33 points higher at 5,207, with 13,105 contracts traded.
- National turnover was 610 million securities worth $1.2 billion.