The Australian sharemarket closed higher as local investors took heart from better than expected economic data and a rosier outlook for the troubled euro zone.
On Wednesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 45 points, or 1.09 per cent, at 4,172.2 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index had lifted 47.4 points, or 1.14 per cent, to 4,213.8 points.
On the ASX 24, the September share price index futures contract was up 44 points at 4,142 points, with 20,959 contracts traded.
CMC Markets senior trader Tim Waterer said the Australian market had followed a positive lead from markets in the United States.
US stocks were boosted on Tuesday as the Commerce Department said factory orders increased 0.7 per cent in May from April while US car companies said sales rose in June.
European stocks and the euro rose on prospects that central banks would act to boost economies.
"The rally today has been ignited mainly by the better US data overnight," Mr Waterer said.
"There's also better sentiment, with things looking a bit rosier in Europe."
He said improved commodity prices - there were significant rises for gold and oil - had helped boost the materials sector, which led the local bourse higher on Wednesday.
In the resources sector, global miner BHP Billiton rose 67 cents to $32.47, and Rio Tinto was $1.55 higher at $58.97.
Origin Energy was 42 cents richer at $12.75 after it was announced that a massive $23 billion gas project in Queensland - in which Origin is a joint-venture partner - is to be expanded.
Queensland's Linc Energy nudged up one cent to 78 cents. Linc axed 60 jobs as it aims to achieve a cash profit of $15 million in the 2012/13 financial year.
Among the major banks, ANZ was 11 cents higher at $22.37, National Australia Bank improved 15 cents to $23.83, Westpac eased two cents to $21.53, and Commonwealth Bank added 27 cents to $53.59.
Among other stocks, Virgin Australia was steady at 37.5 cents. The airline carried more domestic passengers than its rival Qantas over the 12 months to the end of May - a first for the industry's traditional number two.
Casinos operator Echo Entertainment was three cents higher at $4.33 as the jockeying for position by various stakeholders continued, with James Packer's Crown Ltd seeking regulatory approval to lift its stake in Echo to 25 per cent.
The price of gold in Sydney was $US1,617.15 per fine ounce, up $US11.18 on Tuesday's closing price of $US1,605.97.
National turnover was 1.39 billion securities worth $3.51 billion, with 679 stocks up, 229 down and 325 unchanged.