ASX, All Ordinaries rise in share market's biggest day of gains in 2016

In its biggest day of gains this year, the share market has joined a rally on markets across Asia, as energy and mining stocks soared on a rise in oil prices.

The All Ordinaries index jumped by 109 points to close at 5,047.

The ASX 200 index finished 2.3 per cent higher at 4,992.

Energy stocks led the way on optimism about a bounce in oil prices.

Origin Energy soared by 8.7 per cent to $4.23 despite posting a half-year loss of $254 million as the oil price slump hit its bottom line.

Origin said it would suspend dividend payments if oil prices remained low through the second half of the year.

Mining stocks were also in favour — BHP Billiton jumped by 6.1 per cent to $16.95.

Telstra gained 0.6 per cent to $5.40 after it reported flat profits but boosted its dividend.

Australia's biggest telco made $2.1 billion for the second-half of 2015 and also announced it would boost spending to improve and expand its network.

The big four banks were all in favour — Westpac led the way, up 2.8 per cent to $29.98.

Suncorp bucked the trend, as it traded ex-dividend. It closed down 1.2 per cent at $11.31.

Elsewhere, Treasury Wine Estates reported a 42 per cent jump in half-year net profit as it sold more high-end wine in the US, while sales to Asia more than doubled.

Treasury closed 4 per cent higher at $9.10.

Unemployment rate jumps 0.2pc

In economic news, Australian Bureau of Statistics figures showed the unemployment rate jumped unexpectedly from 5.8 per cent to 6 per cent in January, seasonally adjusted.

Employment fell by nearly 8,000 in the month, driven by the loss of more than 40,000 full-time jobs.

But economists say while the jobless rate is higher, employment growth remains above average.

In currencies, the dollar dropped on the release of those jobs numbers but has mostly recovered and was buying 71.6 US cents a short time ago.

It is also fetching 64.2 euro cents, 81.6 Japanese yen and 50.1 British pence.

In commodities, spot gold is relatively steady at $US1,209 an ounce.

Oil is higher — Brent crude is fetching $34.96 US a barrel.

Source: ABC News

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