Local shares exploded today, following the lead set by Wall Street overnight and leaving the index well and truly on track to record its seventh straight week of gains.

Funnily enough, the rally has been attributed to growing conviction over an imminent hike in US interest rates – the very same reason that has been blamed for losses on Monday and Tuesday.

Here’s a quick recap:

  • S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) up 1.5% to 5372 points
  • ALL ORDINARIES (Index: ^AXAO) (ASX: XAO) up 1.4% to 5436 points
  • AUD/USD at US 72.11 cents
  • Iron Ore at US$51.36 a tonne, according to the Metal Bulletin
  • Gold at US$1,227.82 an ounce
  • Brent oil at US$49.14 a barrel

The gains were widespread with the vast majority of shares finishing in the black.

It was the banks doing most of the lifting. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) and Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) both lifted more than 2%. National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) also gained 1.9% and 1.1%, respectively.

The iron ore miners piled on the gains as well. BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) rose 2.8% and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) lifted 1.9%.

Meanwhile, Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) rose 1.8%, but Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) fell 0.2% after an impairment warning.

The gold miners were also down in the dumps. Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) was one of the market’s worst performers for the day, falling 5.1%.

Here are Wednesday’s top stories:

  1. Gold miners hammered as gold price could crash in June
  2. Wesfarmers Ltd reports monster impairments: $1 billion wiped off the value of Target
  3. 5 small cap ASX shares that could make you rich
  4. Wesfarmers Ltd shares slammed on potential $2 billion losses
  5. The easy way to value bank shares
  6. Why the Primary Health Care Limited share price could skyrocket today
  7. These 2 high-yield dividend shares are ridiculously cheap

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman has no position in any stocks mentioned. 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.