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Australian market hits 6,000 for first time since 2008 crisis

Sydney - Australia's stock market on Tuesday broke above 6,000 points for the first time since the global financial crisis, pushing past a psychological barrier amid optimism about the world economy.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 passed the mark in mid-day trading, after failing to breach the level in several attempts over recent years.

It ended the day 1.02 per cent, or 60.52 points, higher at 6,014.3.

The market had plunged below 6,000 in 2008 as the financial crisis sent shock waves through global markets.

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The lift in the Australian bourse reflected rallies in stock markets elsewhere.

US shares on Monday set new records for the second-straight day, boosted by rising oil prices, solid American economic data and a series of strong earnings reports.

"We are going through this transition period - from one which is completely engineered to one now where the market is standing on its own feet," IG Markets chief strategist Chris Weston told AFP.

"(It's) also showing signs that the global economy is not just on the up, but corporates are actually doing their own thing."

Central banks around the world slashed interest rates and pumped huge amounts of cash into the financial system in a bid to boost economic growth after the crisis.

But several major central banks have started to wind back their stimulus packages as the pace of economic recovery quickens.

"You are seeing (companies reporting) topline growth in a number of countries and we are sort of moving away from that central bank kicker, although that is still very much in the market and still helping the situation," added Weston.

Australia's central bank left interest rates at a record low 1.50 per cent on Tuesday, noting stagnant wage growth and a weak consumer price index despite the stock market's gains.

Tuesday's gains in Sydney were led by mining stocks, which strengthened on the back of improving commodity prices.