Australian share market closes higher

Australian shares are close to their highest point for the year as investor confidence is boosted by a decisive federal election result and encouraging Chinese economic data.

Stocks are also being boosted by the need for major construction projects in Japan - Australia's second largest trading partner - ahead of the 2020 Olympics.

Easing anxiety over Syria after Russia suggested that Syria place its chemical weapons under international control has also influence trade.

Major resources companies, the big banks and other blue-chip stocks had led the Australian market higher, Lonsec senior client adviser Michael Heffernan said.

'The result of the election has injected a bit of confidence and positive sentiment. That's flowed over yesterday and today,' he said.

Recent economic data from China indicated that the Chinese economy was performing quite well, providing a boost for Australian resources stocks.

BHP Billiton rose 26 cents to $35.90, Rio Tinto added 93 cents to $62.88 and Fortescue Metals was six cents higher at $4.51.

Among the major banks, Westpac was 48 cents richer at at $32.41, National Australia Bank gained 26 cents to $33.44, ANZ firmed 23 cents to $30.17 and Commonwealth Bank jumped 27 cents to $73.90.

Elders rose one cent to 10.5 cents after the rural services provider announced that it had nearly completed refinancing the group and would slash about 10 per cent of its staff.