Australian bank stocks are ripping higher

The Australian Infantry Honor Guard ride into the city of Beersheva, to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Beersheba in southern Israel. Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

Australia’s big four banks led a huge rally on the Australian market.

At one stage the ANZ bank was up almost 6%. At the close, it was 4.47% higher at $24.10.

The NAB was up 3.5% to $25.55, Westpac 4.1% to $30.69 and the Commonwealth 3.5% to $74.36.

The banks accounted for about half the gains on the local market. The ASX 2000 closed at 5,021.20, up 98.95 points or 2.01%.

Financial stocks as a group were up almost 3%.

Local investors were buoyed by a stronger Wall Street where the S&P 500 closed up 2% overnight, led by financial and tech stocks. The automotive sector also rallied on US car sales hitting 15-year highs in February.

They also took heart from official GDP numbers showing the Australian economy is growing faster than thought.

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