ASX up again, eyes 200-day moving average

The local share market has closed higher for a fourth day in a row, and the 11th time in the past 13 sessions, finishing just under a key resistance level.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 ended Wednesday up 40.4 points, or 0.58 per cent, to 6999.3, while the broader All Ordinaries gained 37.3 points, or 0.52 per cent, to 7187.4.

City Index analyst Matt Simpson said the ASX200 closed just under its 200-day moving average, at around 7,005, a level it has been below since early May.

Mr Simpson said there could be short-covering going on and was cautious about the four-day rally.

"What you really want to be seeing for a convincing breakout is volumes rising above average as it hits resistance levels," he told AAP.

"What I think is possibly happening is the market's a little bit apprehensive to overshoot their moves ahead of the (US) midterm results."

Democrats and Republicans were locked in a tight contest for control of Congress as election results came in, with no signs of a blowout for either party and most key races still up in the air.

The mining sector was leading ASX gainers on Wednesday, as a weaker US dollar makes commodities more attractive.

BHP was up 2.1 per cent to $41.18, Fortescue Metals had climbed 3.0 per cent to $17.12 and Rio Tinto was up 2.4 per cent to $98.63.

Goldminers had a strong day as the price of the yellow metal hit a one-month high of $US1709 an ounce ahead of the release of the latest monthly US inflation report, which will drop overnight Thursday/Friday, Australia time.

Newcrest gained 6.9 per cent to $19.41, Northern Star was up 6.7 per cent to $10.04 and Evolution climbed 9.3 per cent to $2.35.

Lithium producers were also putting in a solid performance following Tuesday's broker upgrades, with Mineral Resources up 4.5 per cent to an all-time closing high of $82.70 and Allkem up 2.4 per cent to $14.36.

In the energy sector, coalminers struggled after Whitehaven advised that flooding from La Nina was hampering production at its open-cut mines in NSW.

Whitehaven dropped 8.5 per cent to $8.61, New Hope declined 6.4 per cent to $5.57 and Stanmore Resources dropped 4.7 per cent to $2.85.

In the banking sector, NAB dropped 0.9 per cent to $31.66 as the bank reported its cash earnings had risen 8.3 per cent to $7.1 billion in the 12 months to September 30.

ANZ added 0.6 per cent to $24.55 while CBA and Westpac were both up 0.3 per cent, to $104.77 and $23.72, respectively.

News Corp's ASX-listed shares slid 11.2 per cent to $23.04 as the media giant reported that first-quarter revenues fell one per cent to $US2.48b, the result of currency fluctuations and lower physical book sales from Amazon.

Back in the mining sector, Boart Longyear soared 11.4 per cent to a nearly two-month high of $2.45 after the drilling services provider reported its third-quarter revenue rose 12 per cent to $US265 million ($A409 million), compared to a year earlier.

Also, Orica gained 7.0 per cent to $15.07 after the commercial explosives company announced it had swung to a full-year profit of $60 million, after declaring a statutory loss of $174m last year.

Chief executive Sanjeev Gandhi credited the company's commercial discipline and collaborative culture for getting it through a year filled with both challenges and opportunities, "including geopolitical tensions, trade sanctions, strong global commodity prices and security of supply risks".

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar was close to a one-month high against its weakening US counterpart.

The Aussie was buying 64.99 US cents, from 64.54 US cents at Tuesday's ASX close.

In cryptocurrency, Bitcoin plunged to a two-year low of $US18,400 ($A28,350) following the near-collapse of crypto exchange FTX.

A rival exchange, Binance, reached a non-binding agreement to buy it so it could maintain operations.

ON THE ASX:

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index on Wednesday climbed 40.4 points to 6999.3, a 0.58 per cent gain.

* The broader All Ordinaries rose 37.3 points, or 0.52 per cent, to 7187.4.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT:

One Australian dollar buys:

* 64.91 US cents, from 64.54 US cents at Tuesday's close

* 94.60 Japanese yen, from 94.68 yen

* 64.49 euro cents, from 64.50 euro cents

* 56.26 British pence, from 56.17 pence

* 109.41 NZ cents, from 109.03 NZ cents