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SYDNEY, Feb 1 AAP

February 01 2013, 12:44AM

The Australian share market has started February on a strong positive note with the financial and resources sectors leading the charge.

At 1227 AEDT on Wednesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 31.5 points, or 0.65 per cent, at 4,910.3, and the broader All Ordinaries index was up 30.4 points, or 0.62 per cent, at 4,931.4.

On the ASX 24, the March share price index futures contract was 30 points higher at 4,875 with 15,469 contracts traded.

IG Markets market strategist Evan Lucas said the local market hadn't followed Wall Street's downwards lead, thanks in part to resource companies benefiting from rising ore prices.

"The Australian market has actually bucked global leads," he said.

"We're seeing iron ore prices jumping through that $US150 a ton mark, which has really helped BHP and Rio push up."

BHP Billiton was up 1.03 per cent, or 38.5 cents, at $37.865, while Rio Tinto was 1.48 per cent, or 98 cents, higher at $67.34.

The banks also continued to perform strongly.

"We're seeing the banks push up further. NAB jumped up pretty high," Mr Lucas told AAP.

"They've had a stellar run. They've been the outperformer of the market and they've been leading the way up."

NAB was trading at $27.92, up 56 cents or 2.05 per cent.

Westpac was up 19 cents, or 0.68 per cent, to $28.23; Commonwealth Bank gained 34 cents, or 0.53 per cent to $64.79; and ANZ lifted 6.5 cents, or 0.24 per cent, to $26.645.

Mr Lucas said Friday's trading looked like it would take the market to a gain for 11 out of 12 days, which it hadn't seen for 10 to 15 years.

"Considering February is traditionally a very quiet month when most people re-assess their portfolios, it's a pretty stellar start," he said.

"It does paint a rosier picture - 2013 looks like a better year after three years of dread and the market trading sideways."

National turnover at 1226 AEDT was 691.2 million shares worth $1.34 billion.