The Australian share market has ended modestly higher as gains by mining stocks and the banking sector outweighed declines by consumer staples and tech stocks.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index finished Wednesday up 23.9 points, or 0.36 per cent, to 6,638 points, while the broader All Ordinaries closed up 24.1 points, or 0.36 per cent, to 6752.1.
"We're sort of hanging on for dear life," said Pepperstone head of research Chris Weston.
The Australian market is trading at a 16.6 times forward earnings, its highest multiple in years, and without something more to propel it further there's a chance of a significant downside move, Mr Weston said.
Meanwhile the Australian dollar reached a six-month high, jumping after the editor of China's Global Times posted on Twitter that the country would "introduce important measures to ease the negative impact of the trade war".
It was buying 68.73 US cents, up from 68.69 on Tuesday.
Miner New Hope was the biggest gainer, up 8.5 per cent to $2.54 after the Queensland Court of Appeal issued a ruling favouring the expansion of its New Acland coal mine.
The mining sector gained 1.7 per cent as a whole as the price of iron ore rose to a one-month high, with BHP up 1.7 per cent to $36.92, Rio Tinto up 2.3 per cent to $92.10 and Fortescue Metals gaining 2.0 per cent to $8.77,
Goldminers were mixed as the price of the precious metal firmed to $US1492 an ounce, with Evolution down 1.3 per cent and Northern Star up 0.4 per cent.
The big banks were all higher, with Westpac up 0.9 per cent to a 13-month high of $29.61, while Commonwealth was also up 0.9 per cent, to $80.60, ANZ gained 0.8 per cent to $27.46 and NAB rose 1.1 per cent to $28.79.
Woolworths proved a drag on the consumer staples sector, falling 2.8 per cent to $36.63, but Coles gained 0.9 per cent to hit an all-time high of $14.90
In the tech sector, Appen fell 5.2 per cent to a three-month low of $23.07 and payment and identity verification company Isignthis dropped 14.3 per cent to $1.41 after two days of strong gains.
US-based fracking specialist Sundance Energy, an ASX300 component, fell 26.9 per cent to 19 cents after announcing it would seek to delist from the ASX and transfer its primary listing to the NASDAQ.
ON THE ASX
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed up 23.9 points, or 0.36 per cent, at 6,638 points.
* The All Ordinaries closed up 24.2 points, or 0.36 per cent, to 6,752.2 points.
* At 1709 AEST the SPI200 futures index was down three points, or 0.05 per cent, to 6,635.
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEST
One Australian dollar buys:
* 68.73 US cents, from 68.69 US cents on Tuesday
* 73.99 Japanese yen, from 73.76 yen
* 62.18 euro cents, from 62.12 cents
* 55.60 British pence, from 55.55 pence
* 106.84 NZ cents, from 106.69 cents.