The Australian share market ended Friday at a seven-week high led by the resources and materials sector.
A decision by the US central bank to keep interest rates low for longer in the world's biggest economy boosted investors' confidence and appetite for riskier stocks.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed up 17.1 points on Friday, or 0.4 per cent, at 4,288.4 while the broader All Ordinaries index closed up 19.4 points, or 0.45 per cent, firmer at 4,348.5 points.
On the ASX 24, the March share price index futures contract was up seven points at 4,258, with 28,400 contracts traded.
It was a fourth successive week of gains.
The US Federal Reserve on Wednesday (US time) pledged to keep interest rates low until at least 2014 to nurture the country's stubbornly slow economic recovery, while flagging potential further quantitative easing.
IG Markets market strategist Stan Shamu said the Australian market had performed well after tentative opening gains of about 0.2 per cent, following the Australia Day public holiday on Thursday.
"Rates might be on hold in the US until late 2014, which was really cheered by markets," he told AAP.
"The high beta stocks (riskier) are doing quite well, we are quite leveraged to growth.
"We saw a massive rally in commodities as well following the FOMC (US Federal Reserve Federal Open Markets Committee) meeting and that has extended to the resources here."
The world's biggest miner BHP Billiton closed up 24 cents, or 0.64 per cent, at $37.66, Rio Tinto added $1.43, or 2.09 per cent, to $69.78 and Fortescue Metals shot up 20 cents, or 4.12 per cent, to $5.06.
Shares in Australia's biggest oil and gas company, Woodside Petroleum, closed up 51 cents, or 1.5 per cent, at $34.48 after saying it was considering partially selling down its interest in the $US30 billion ($A28.32 billion) Browse liquefied natural gas project in Western Australia.
The major banks lost some of their earlier gains.
Westpac was down one cent at $21.29, Commonwealth Bank advanced 16 cents to $51.16, ANZ lifted eight cents to $21.50 and National Australia bank shed 12 cents at $24.08.
The only sectors to finish weaker were defensives including consumer discretionaries, consumer staples, info techs and telcoms, which closed between 0.3 and 0.6 per cent softer.
Among other stocks, US-based sleep disorder specialist ResMed Inc was 19 cents richer at $2.73 after it reported a drop in profit for the first half of the financial year but record revenue and net income for the December quarter.
National turnover at 1630 AEDT was 1.7 million shares worth $4.5 billion, with 569 stocks up, 435 down and 381 unchanged.
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