The local share market roared back to life on Thursday, almost reversing all of Wednesday’s decline.

Here’s a quick recap:

  • S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) up 2.1% to 4980 points
  • ALL ORDINARIES (Index: ^AXAO) (ASX: XAO) up 2% to 5029 points
  • AUD/USD at US 71.71 cents
  • Iron Ore at US$44.63 a tonne, according to the Metal Bulletin
  • Gold at US$1,140.98 an ounce
  • Brent oil at US$35.17 a barrel

The ASX followed the lead set by the Dow Jones overnight as oil prices soared back above US$35 a barrel. That was largely caused by a significant dip in the value of the US dollar which also saw the Australian dollar rally above US71 cents.

The oil and gas sector was the biggest winner today, led by none other than BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP). Its shares soared 8.3% while Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL), Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) and Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH) all rallied between 5.8% and 13.4%.

Santos was one of the best performing shares from the ASX 200 cohort.

Meanwhile, Rio Tinto Limited’s (ASX: RIO) shares soared 8.9%, Fortesue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) shares lifted 11.7%, and South32 Ltd (ASX: S32) shares exploded 14.2%.

Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) was the best from the banks, rising 3.6%. Unfortunately, Ansell Limited (ASX: ANN) wasn’t so lucky, plummeting 20.6% after an earnings downgrade.

Here are Thursday’s best stories:

  1. Why the BHP Billiton Limited share price is skyrocketing today
  2. Here’s why Ansell Limited shares are down 17% today
  3. Here’s why the South32 Ltd share price surged higher today
  4. Macquarie Group Ltd guides for increased profit in 2016: Should you buy?
  5. Here’s why your Big Bank shares are crashing
  6. REA Group Limited, Carsales.Com Ltd & SEEK Limited: Is it too late to buy?

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman has no position in any stocks mentioned. Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ASXvalueinvest.

The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.