RTTNews - The Australian market gained more than 2% and ended at a 10-month high on Thursday following comments from the US Federal Reserve that the world's largest economy is leveling out.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 Index rose 92.80 points, or 2.14%, to close at 4,436, and the All-Ordinaries Index ended at 4,437, representing a gain of 90.80 points, or 2.09%.

On economic front, the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that weekly wages increased in the second quarter of 2009 by a seasonally adjusted 1.2% over the preceding quarter. The reported further noted that weekly wages, which represent the amount paid to adult full-time ordinary time workers, rose a seasonally adjusted 6.1% for the year.

Separately, the Melbourne Institute in a report revealed that consumer inflationary expectations rose to 3.5% in August from 3.2% in July.

Light sweet crude oil price for September delivery ended at $70.75 a barrel in electronic trading, up $0.59 from its previous close $70.16 a barrel in New York on Wednesday.

Banks ended in positive territory on increasing optimism that the recovery is round the corner. ANZ Bank gained 3.06%, Commonwealth Bank of Australia surged up 4.88%, National Australia Bank rose 4.06% and Westpac Banking advanced 3.94%.

James Hardie Industries, the leading seller of home sidings in the U.S., soared 9.90% after Toll Brothers, the luxury home builder in the U.S., reported better-than-expected sales.

Oil stocks gained following rebound in crude oil prices in the international market. Woodside Petroleum advanced 2.41%, Santos rose 3.34%, Oil Search gained 2.97% and Origin Energy advanced 2.25%.

Metals and mining stocks also ended in positive territory. BHP Billiton, which reported quarterly results yesterday, added 0.71%, Rio Tinto advanced 1.38%, Gindalbie Metals gained 3.45% and Oz Minerals rose 3.17%.

Shares of Arrow Energy, which supplies coal gas seam, surged up 9.18% after the company said that it has held talks with concerned parties related to takeover of the company.

Gold stocks bucked the trend and ended in negative territory following drop in bullion prices. Lihir Gold shed 0.76%, Newcrest Mining slipped 0.14% and Sino Gold fell 0.69%.

In the U.S., stocks ended in positive territory on Wednesday following comments from the US Federal Reserve that the economy is leveling out. Further, the Federal Open Market Committee, the policy-making arm of the Federal Reserve, announced Wednesday that it was maintaining the target range for its benchmark federal funds rate at zero to 0.25 percent.

The Dow jumped by 120.16 points or 1.3% to 9,362, the Nasdaq climbed by 28.99 points or 1.5% to 1,999 and the S&P 500 rose by 11.46 points or 1.2% to 1,006.

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