Improved ion ore prices helped BHP rise 6.1 per cent to $46.90, Rio Tinto add 8.6 per cent to $125.66, and Fortescue Metals close 3.5 per cent ahead at $25.92.
For the big lenders, Commonwealth Bank added 2 per cent to $84.58, NAB rose 2.8 per cent to $23.04, Westpac finished 3.2 per cent ahead at $19.99 and ANZ climbed 3.8 per cent to $23.64.
The Aussie dollar remained near 30-month highs of 78 US cents for most of the day before cooling late in the local session to 77.85 US cents.
ThinkMarkets Australia analyst Carlos Capolingua said the market largely ignored the Washington riots and instead celebrated the Democrats claiming the final two seats in the US Senate and therefore effective control of both houses of Congress.
“The moves today were very much in line with those we saw shortly after the Presidential Election back in November, when it became clear that the Democrats would have a greater influence on the US economy for the next four years,” Mr Capolingua said.
“Longer-term bond yields are on the rise in response to a pervasive increase in inflation expectations. The theory is that the Democrats are going to be bigger spenders, and this is going to cause inflation. Higher inflation requires higher bond yields.
“On one hand, it’s good for financial stocks. On the other hand, higher growth stocks, particularly those that have used debt to supercharge their growth, tend to struggle when rates go up.
Tech was a major casualty on Thursday, with Afterpay down 4.2 per cent to $108.85, Xero down 5.1 per cent to $140.53, and Altium dropping 4.1 per cent to $31.71.
CSL was also a laggard, down 1.2 per cent to $275. ResMed and Fisher and Paykel also weighed the health sector down.
Energy stocks gained a collective 4.5 per cent on improved oil prices, with Santos up 7.4 per cent to $6.95, Oil Search adding 6.9 per cent to $4.16, and Woodside Petroleum finishing 5.1 per cent ahead at $24.35.
Wesfarmers, Woolworths, Coles, and Amcor also rose.
US futures were ahead at 4.40pm AEST and pointing to further gains on Wall Street tonight.
“Assuming we don’t get any major negative news events surrounding the handover of power in Washington, there’s a very good chance we can push though overhead resistance around 6766 and target our all-time highs at 7197,” Mr Capolingua said.