The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 32.2 points, or 0.5 per cent to 6057.3, following an advance on the New York Stock Exchange.
BHP Billiton let the Australian share market on Thursday as its shares rose 2.1 per cent to $34.08. Rio Tinto jumped 2.3 per cent to $85.97 while South32 closed at $3.88, up 1.3 per cent.
The miners were supported by gains from two of the major banks. ANZ advanced the most of the big four, rising 0.8 per cent to $26.73 while Westpac rose 0.6 per cent to $27.69.
AMP shares fell on the news Slater and Gordon had become the fourth law firm to level a shareholder class action against the embattled financial giant. Its shares fell to their lowest ever close at $3.62, falling 3 per cent during the session.
Wesfarmers shares rose following the company’s investor day where chief executive Rob Scott said that the company’s focus was investing in itself rather than seeking acquisitions. He said the company was “more than happy to return surplus capital to shareholders”, sending Wesfarmers shares up 1.8 per cent to $46.48.
Mayne Pharma shares rose 5.5 per cent to 87¢. US President Donald Trump overnight reaffirmed his intentions to lower pharmaceutical prices in the United States where the company distributes some of its products.
Retail Food Group has continued its recent market slump after the company said it expected underlying profits to fall 54 per cent this year. Underlying net profits for the 2018 financial year are expected to be around $34.5 million, compared with $75.7 million in 2017. Its shares fell 5.6 per cent on Thursday to 67¢.
Ingham’s Group saw its shares slump 9.1 per cent to $3.72 following the news that chief executive Mick McMahon would step down from his position after four years. McMahon oversaw the company’s transition from a private business to an ASX-listed company.