Australia's S&P/ASX 200 breaks 5,000 points

Australia's benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index surged above 5,000 points for the first time in almost three years on Wednesday on bullish corporate earnings reports and consumer confidence data.

The index of Australia's top 200 companies hit 5,000.2 at 10:34 am (2334 GMT) -- a 34-month high -- and was trading at 5,004.7 an hour later after consumer confidence hit its highest level since December 2010.

It was up 45.7 points, or 0.92 percent, on Tuesday's close.

The broader All Ordinaries was 43.3 points, or 0.87 percent higher, at 5,024.8 after that index hit the 5,000 mark on Tuesday.

The surge followed a strong earnings report from Australia's largest lender, Commonwealth Bank, which posted a one percent rise in first-half net profit to US$3.77 billion.

"We had the backbone of a decent rally in place after solid earnings from CBA and ramification for margin improvement in the rest of the banks, but it seems there is a real positive feedback loop taking place between stock prices and the real economy," said IG Markets analyst Chris Weston.