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Australian shares end week up 1.5 per cent

The local share market has risen for a fourth day in a row, climbing modestly in light trading to again set a five-month high.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index on Friday gained 17.8 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 7259.5, while the broader All Ordinaries was up 15.4 points, or 0.21 per cent, to 7447.6.

For the week the ASX200 gained 1.5 per cent, its fourth winning week in the past five.

With United States markets closed for Thanksgiving, there was no overnight lead from Wall Street, which the Australian market typically takes its cues from.

"It's a relatively light week, the trading volume is much lower, especially because there's a lighter economic calendar," IG markets analyst Hebe Chen told AAP.

"So overall we can say the positive sentiment in the market remains. The only thing the market is concerned about is China's COVID cases. That's something that's still quite uncertain" but other than that things look positive, Ms Chen indicated.

State Street Global Advisors SPDR ETF equity strategist Julia Lee told AAP interest rate expectations had been helping markets around the region.

Since the last Federal Reserve meeting on November 1-2, a dozen Fed officials indicated they are open to a smaller, 50 basis point rate hike at the central bank's next meeting on December 14, Ms Lee said.

"This has seen selling of the US dollar and buying of risk assets such as shares.

"Interest rate moves act with a lag which means there is already economic pain coming down the pipeline."

Every ASX sector was up at midday except mining and energy, which lagged after days of outperformance.

The heavyweight financial sector gained 0.8 per cent, with Commonwealth Bank rising 1.1 per cent to a one-year closing high of $109.20.

ANZ gained 0.7 per cent to $24.82, Westpac added 0.5 per cent to $23.99 and NAB 0.8 per cent to $31.49.

The consumer discretionary and property sectors were the strongest performers, with both climbing 1.2 per cent.

Kmart and Bunnings owner Wesfarmers added 0.6 per cent to a six-month high of $49.16, JB Hi-Fi grew 1.9 per cent to a three-mongh high of $44.81 and Harven Norman 3.1 per cent to a two-month high of $4.30.

But City Chic plunged 28.4 per cent to a three-year low of 99.5c after the plus-sized retailer warned of profit margin compression amid tough competition for reduced demand.

Consumer confidence is low, with inflation and high interest rates are eating into disposable income, chairman Michael Kay warned investors at the company's annual general meeting.

"Some commentators are saying these adverse conditions will persist throughout 2023 and into 2024," he added.

The heavyweight mining sector was down 1.1 per cent, with both BHP and Rio Tinto falling 0.8 per cent, to $44.20 and $105.65, respectively.

Fortescue Metals dropped 1.2 per cent to $18.94.

Lithium miners had a dour day, with Pilbara dropping 6.7 per cent to a one-month low of $4.46 and Allkem 8.6 per cent to a two-month low of $13.17.

In tech, EML Payments soared 22.6 per cent to a one-month high of 65c as a shareholder revolt saw Peter Martin narrowly voted out as chairman of the Brisbane-based gift card provider, which has been under regulatory scrutiny in Europe over alleged anti-money laundering shortcomings.

But Objective Corp fell 14 per cent to a one-month low of $12.94 after the public sector software company's chief financial officer warned of slower revenue growth this financial year.

The Australian dollar meanwhile was at its best level in over two months against its weakening US counterpart.

It was buying 67.64 US cents, up from 67.55 cents at Thursday's ASX close.


* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed Friday 17.7 points, or 0.24 per cent higher, at 7259.5.

* The broader All Ordinaries rose 15.4 points or 0.21 per cent to 7447.6.


One Australian dollar buys:

* 67.64 US cents, from 67.55 US cents at Thursday's close

* 93.77 Japanese yen, from 93.84 Japanese yen

* 64.96 Euro cents, from 64.73 Euro cents

* 55.89 British pence, from 55.87 British pence

* 108.03 NZ cents, from 107.98 NZ cents.