Australian stocks have finished higher for the fifth consecutive trading session as the resources sector led the gains.
RBS Morgans client adviser Alistair McCorquodale said investors were continuing to buy risk assets following a strong performance on offshore markets.
"We've followed overseas leads, with the Americans and Europeans up strongly," Mr McCorquodale said.
"The market looked very comfortable with the comments from Janet Yellen so you're really seeing a risk-on day."
US stocks were higher after new Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen told Congress she has no plans to change monetary policy set under predecessor Ben Bernanke.
As a result investors flocked to local mining stocks.
BHP Billiton climbed 65 cents to $37.20, Rio Tinto added $1.46 cents to $68.10 and iron ore miner Fortescue was seven cents higher at $5.71.
Gold and copper miner Oz Minerals was a standout performer, with its shares up 43 cents, or 12.6 per cent, to $3.83, as it reiterated its 2014 production guidance.
Bank stocks were all stronger after the Commonwealth Bank's half year profit rose by 14 per cent to $4.27 billion.
CBA shares rose 28 cents to $76.20, National Australia Bank was up 26 cents at $34.15, Westpac was 27 cents higher at $32.50 and ANZ was the best performer, making a 42 cent gain to $30.98.
Building products maker Boral was also stronger, with its shares up 45 cents, or nine per cent, to $5.45 after achieving earnings growth in all four of its business divisions in the first half of the financial year.
But the healthcare sector was lower, led by CSL, which announced a weaker than expected three per cent increase in half year profit.
CSL shares were down $2.11, or three per cent, at $67.75 and Ramsay Health Care was $1.23 lower at $41.94.
- At the close on Wednesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 55.6 points, or 1.06 per cent, higher at 5,310.1.
- The broader All Ordinaries index was up 52.5 points, or 1.00 per cent, at 5,319.8.
- The March share price index futures contract was 63 points higher at 5,266, with 25,565 contracts traded.
- National turnover was 1.6 billion securities worth $3.8 billion.