The Australian share market has overcome a sluggish start to close higher, as a rally in iron ore and oil prices boosted mining and energy stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 stock index was up 41.5 points, or 0.73 per cent, at 5,755.7 points.

“The main drivers have been commodity-based,” Atlantic Pacific Securities client adviser Gary Huxtable said.

“Iron ore prices started to tick up in the session yesterday (Tuesday), so iron ore miners, particularly Fortescue, continue to do quite well,” he said.

“Oil has also continued to rise throughout the session (on Wednesday) although there’s no major catalyst.”

Mr Huxtable said oil prices had been range-bound for some time and looked like rising now that they had hit the bottom of the range

In the resources sector, global miner BHP Billiton added 1.9 per cent to $22.89, Rio Tinto improved 2.5 per cent to $61.34 and Fortescue Metals surged 4.1 per cent to $5.07 after the iron ore price lifted by 3.5 per cent.

Energy stocks pushed higher after oil prices rallied by two per cent overnight and the big four banks lifted after days of uncertainty over government levies, with the financial sector lifting one per cent.

Australia’s free-to-air TV and radio networks jumped after the federal government regulated a cut in broadcasting licence fees in a bid to ease pressure from foreign tech companies and online streaming services.

Nine Entertainment rose 4.5 per cent, Seven West Media gained 4.3 per cent, and Southern Cross Media soared 7.1 per cent.

Insurer IAG ascended 6.4 per cent, to $6.97 after it lifted guidance for its insurance margin after a better-than-expected run of claims in compulsory third party, workers compensation and other businesses.

Liver cancer treatment developer Sirtex Medical climbed $2.31, or 17.12 per cent, to $15.80 as it cut the value of its clinical and research and development assets by $90 million and said it will axe 15 per cent of its workforce, but met its earnings guidance.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar had regained ground against the greenback on the back of the commodity price improvement and at 1630 AEST, the Aussie was trading at 76.07 US cents, from 76.02 US cents on Tuesday.

https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/36191078/higher-oil-iron-ore-prices-boost-shares/#page1