The Australian sharemarket continued on its upward run on Friday with the All Ordinaries index jumping 0.25 per cent to 5155 points, building on Thursday’s 1.2 per cent rise.
The Australian dollar also continued to rally on Thursday night, reaching levels not seen since the start of 2016.
On Friday morning the dollar was at 73.53 US cents, having jumped by 1 per cent during the overnight session.
On the cross-rates, it was worth 67.07 eurocents, 51.87 British pence, 83.57 Japanese yen and $NZ1.09.
A late surge among energy and banking stocks led Wall Street higher, in a session marked by weakness in the technology and healthcare sectors.
There was also some disappointing economic news, with employment in the United States’ services sector shrinking for the first time in two years in February.
Economists were also surprised by a rise in first-time claims for jobless benefits.
Those applications increased by 6,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 278,000 last week.
Market forecasts had been for claims to fall to 271,000 in the week.
That data comes ahead of tomorrow’s crucial US employment report for February.
Expectations are centring on the addition of 190,000 jobs during the month, compared with 151,000 in January.
By the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had added 0.26 per cent to 16,943.
The S&P 500 Index had gained 0.35 per cent to 1,993 and the Nasdaq edged 0.09 per cent higher to 4,707.
The major European markets lost value overnight and in London, the FTSE 100 closed 0.27 per cent lower at 6,130.
West Texas crude oil had edged down to $US34.51 a barrel, the price of a barrel of Tapis had also slipped to $US38.44 and spot gold was higher at $US1,263.01 an ounce.
– with reporting by Rod Myer