Strong investor support for financial and mining stocks has driven a third straight day of gains and taken the market to a near four month high.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index gained 1.2 per cent as 11 of the 12 sectors closed in positive territory.
That follows a gain of 0.9 per cent on Wednesday and 0.5 per cent on Tuesday.
Financial stocks, which had lost ground over the last few months, are attracting the attention of international investors, in part due to a lower Australian dollar, Macquarie Private Wealth division director Lucinda Chan said.
"The foreigners are coming back to buy them, it's good value for them," she said.
ANZ jumped 73 cents, or 2.5 per cent, to $29.53, Westpac rose 65 cents, or 2.1 per cent, to $32.13, National Australia Bank gained 31 cents, or 1.1 per cent, to $29.32 and the Commonwealth Bank added 43 cents, or 0.5 per cent, to $79.73.
Insurer IAG rose 25 cents, or 4.5 per cent, to $5.85 after outlining plans to cut $250 million in costs over three years.
QBE added 58 cents to $12.36 and Suncorp gained 34 cents to $13.31.
A 3.5 per cent rise in iron ore prices overnight helped boost the resources sector, with Rio Tinto adding $1.90 to $62.73, BHP Billiton gained 31 cents to $26.04 and Fortescue Metals was 11 cents stronger at $6.69.
Bucking the broader market trend were energy companies following a fall in oil prices, with Woodside Petroleum down 35 cents to $29.88 and Santos down nine cents to $4.27.
- The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index added 65.5 points, or 1.2 per cent, to 5,543.6 points.
- The broader All Ordinaries index gained 63.6 points, or 1.15 per cent, to 5,599 points.
- The December share price index futures contract was up 60 points, or 1.09 per cent, at 5,541 points, with 34,499 contracts traded.
- National turnover was 2.87 billion securities traded, worth $6.44 billion.