Aussie shares rally to 100-day high, edge all-time peak

The local share market has finally joined a global risk-on rally, climbing to its highest intraday level in 100 days and finishing within a whisker of its highest-ever close.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index on Thursday gained 72.8 points, or 0.93 per cent, at 7,889.6, less than eight points shy of its record closing high of 7,896.8 set on March 28.

The broader All Ordinaries gained 75.1 points, or 0.93 per cent, to 8,133.4.

The rally followed a strong lead from Wall Street, where the S&P500 rose 1.0 per cent to close at an all-time high for the 37th time this year following more dovish commentary from Fed chairman Jerome Powell.

In his second day of testimony before the US Congress, Mr Powell did little to alter expectations of US rate cuts in 2024 - something most analysts expect will begin in mid-September.

"You don't want to wait (to cut interest rates) until inflation gets all the way down to two per cent," he told House lawmakers. 

"If you waited that long, you probably waited too long because inflation will be moving downward and would go well below two per cent, which we don't want."

Monthly US inflation data that could alter expectations on the pace of rate cuts will be released late Thursday night Australian time. 

Every sector of the bourse finished higher on Thursday as the ASX200 finally broke out of the trading range it had been in since early June.

Property was the biggest gainer, rising 1.6 per cent, with tech close behind with a 1.5 per cent gain.

Tech and property were the biggest gainers, rising 1.5 and 1.6 per cent, respectively. 

Real estate developer Mirvac climbed 4.3 per cent to a two-week high of $1.93, while New Zealand cloud accounting firm Xero added 3.4 per cent to a two-and-a-half-year high of $141.50.

Commonwealth Bank, JB Hi-Fi, Realestate.com.au owner REA Group, Brisbane-based enterprise software company Technology One and Melbourne-based radiopharmaceutical company Telix Pharmaceuticals were among the companies whose shares closed at all-time highs.

Telix was also the biggest gainer in the ASX200, rising 10.5 per cent to $19.39 after the US Medicare system made a decision that would improve payments for diagnostic radiopharmaceutical procedures such as the one Telix sells.

Uranium companies Deep Yellow, Paladin and Boss Energy were close behind, with Deep Yellow rising 9.2 per cent and the other two adding more than six per cent.

In the heavyweight mining sector, goldminers shone as the precious metal changed hands at $US2,376 an ounce.

Newmont added 3.7 per cent, Northern Star rose 2.1 per cent and Perseus Mining climbed 5.2 per cent.

Elsewhere in the sector, Fortescue climbed 1.9 per cent to $22, BHP added 0.9 per cent to $43.56 and Rio Tinto edged 0.2 per cent higher at $119.62.

In the financial sector, CBA shares traded at more than $130 for the first time before finishing at $129.92, up 1.1 per cent from Wednesday's close.

NAB rose 1.1 per cent to $36.20 and Westpac added 0.4 per cent to $27.63 but ANZ dropped 1.2 per cent to $29.34 following media reports about alleged rigging of government bond rates by its markets division.

In the consumer discretionary sector, JB Hi-Fi gained 1.2 per cent to an all-time high of $65.15 despite the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission initiating court proceedings against its Good Guys subsidiary over allegedly misleading store credit promotions.

The Australian dollar was buying 67.54 US cents, from 67.46 US cents at Wednesday's ASX close.

ON THE ASX:

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index finished Thursday up 72.8 points, or 0.93 per cent, at 7,889.6

* The broader All Ordinaries rose 75.1 points, or 0.93 per cent, to 8,133.4

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT:

One Australian dollar buys:

* 67.54 US cents, from 67.46 US cents at Wednesday's ASX close

* 109.25 Japanese yen, from 108.87 Japanese yen

* 62.35 euro cents, from 62.34 euro cents

* 52.52 British pence, from 52.72 pence

* 110.91 NZ cents, from 110.82 NZ cents.

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