Australia's share market has closed above 6,000 points for the first time since early September after a big-spending federal budget helped widespread gains.
The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index finished higher by 74.3 points, or 1.25 per cent, to 6036.4 on Wednesday.
The All Ordinaries index closed better by 75.4 points, or 1.22 per cent, to 6239.6.
Financials were the top sector, up 2.17 per cent, followed by consumer discretionaries and consumer staples, up 1.91 and 1.86 per cent respectively.
Those results followed Tuesday's federal budget, which delivered measures such as tax cuts and instant asset write-offs for most businesses in a bid to help Australians spend their way out of the coronavirus recession.
The budget helped investors shrug off a negative lead from markets in the US, where President Donald Trump ended talks for economic stimulus before the November 3 election.
AMP Capital portfolio manager Dermot Ryan said the ASX result and gains earlier in the week came from budget announcements.
"The budget is a kickstart for business activity and hiring," he said.
Mr Ryan said sectors linked to domestic spending, such as the car industry, construction and retail, benefited most throughout the week.
These sectors would be helped by new programs such as JobMaker, Mr Ryan said, which pays businesses for employing young people.
The optimism helped the ASX200 finish above 6000 points for the first time since September 8.
Mr Ryan said the market was set up for a strong finish to the year.
"We should start to see earnings momentum increase," he said.
"We've already seen in some AGMs companies updating profit guidance and talking of better trading conditions."
There were modest signs of improvement in Victoria's jobs market after its harsh COVID-19 lockdown.
Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show payroll jobs rose by 0.4 per cent in the state over the fortnight to September 19. During the same period, jobs increased 0.3 per cent nationally.
On the ASX, the big four banks had good gains. ANZ rose by 2.35 per cent to $18.31, the Commonwealth climbed by 2.15 per cent to $67.57, NAB gained 1.97 per cent to $18.60 and Westpac was better by 2.58 per cent to $17.86.
Materials was the only sector that finished lower. BHP fell 1.1 per cent to $35.88, Rio Tinto edged up by 0.05 per cent to $96.07 and Fortescue was lower by 0.06 per cent to $16.73.
Goldminer Northern Star climbed by 1.9 per cent to $15.58 after a 10.64 per cent on Tuesday on plans to merge with Saracen Mineral.
Saracen also continued to rise on Wednesday and finished higher by 3.85 per cent to $5.94.
AGL was lower by 0.66 per cent to $13.61 after chair Graeme Hunt told an annual general meeting shareholders had served a "first strike" over concerns about executive pay.
Under the two-strikes rule, if more than 25 per cent of shareholders vote against two consecutive remuneration reports, this triggers a vote on a board spill.
In the US earlier, all three major indices finished lower after Mr Trump ordered his peers to stop negotiating with Democrats on an economic stimulus bill until after the election.
On Thursday, Vice-President Mike Pence's debate with Democratic nominee Kamala Harris in Salt Lake City will take centre stage.
The Aussie dollar was buying 71.27 US cents at 1717 AEDT, lower from 71.81 US cents at the close of trade on Tuesday.
ON THE ASX
* The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index finished higher by 74.3 points, or 1.25 per cent, to 6036.4 on Wednesday.
* The All Ordinaries index closed better by 75.4 points, or 1.22 per cent, to 6239.6.
* At 1717 AEDT, the SPI200 futures index was higher by two points, or 0.03 per cent, to 6022.
One Australian dollar buys:
* 71.27 US cents, from 71.64 US cents on Tuesday
* 75.42 Japanese yen, from 75.69 yen
* 60.73 Euro cents, from 61.80 cents
* 55.28 British pence, from 55.17 pence
* 108.12 NZ cents, from 107.92 cents.