The Australian share market has finished company reporting season with a bang, closing up 1.3 per cent.

The All Ordinaries index closed 67 points higher at 5,120, while the ASX 200 added 68 points to close at 5,104.

The day started with a positive lead from Wall Street and the market rose further as more first-half profit results rolled in.

Food and drink business were among those that cashed in; supermarket giant Woolworths added 2.7 per cent and Treasury Wine Estates closed up 8.2 per cent.

But even companies with less than stellar profits rose; retailer Harvey Norman reported a 36 per cent slide in first-half profits but its shares still closed 9.2 per cent higher.

Other retailers also ended higher, with David Jones up 2.2 per cent and department store rival Myer up 3 per cent.

Mining companies did not miss out, with Rio Tinto rising 1.6 per cent over a 1 per cent gain for rival BHP Billiton.

The big four banks also performed strongly; Commonwealth and Westpac closed 1.9 per cent higher, ANZ was up 1.6 per cent and NAB added 0.6 per cent.

Telstra was among a small list of losers, falling 0.4 per cent.

Online travel company Wotif fell another 8.4 per cent after Wednesday's profit results.

The market was buoyant despite some more negative economic data.

The Bureau of Statistics capital expenditure figures show business investment fell 1.2 per cent in the final three months of last year.

The median prediction for CAPEX from economists had been a 1 per cent rise.

Shortly before 5pm (AEDT) the Australian dollar was buying around 102.74 US cents, 78.14 euro cents and 67.75 British pence.

West Texas intermediate crude oil was fetching $US92.76 cents a barrel and Tapis crude in Singapore was worth around $US119.48 cents a barrel.


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