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AUSTRALIAN STOCKS GO NOWHERE: What you need to know

Whitney Hillier of Australia in the bunker on day two of the RACV Ladies Masters at Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast. Matt Roberts/Getty Images

The Australian market closed flat today.

Here’s today’s scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 4,880.00 -1.18 -0.02%
  • All Ordinaries: 4,945.10 +0.36 +0.01%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7232 -0.0005 -0.07%

Local stocks lost ground again this week with the ASX 200 dropping 1.4% over the week. The local market is down 7.8% since the start of 2016.

BHP continued its slide, losing 2.5% to close at $15.59, and Rio Tinto was down 3.2% to $40.00.

The major banks were mixed with the NAB down 0.57% to $24.41 and the ANZ up 0.04% to $22.56.

Breville, the kitchen appliance maker, was up another 12% to $7.58 today after gaining 12% Thursday when it posted a 12.6% rise in half-year revenue to $331.2 million on strong sales to the US.

The top stories Friday:

1. The Masters writedown. Woolworths posted a loss of $972.7 million in the first half of the financial year, its first for more than 20 years. Also read: The new Woolworths CEO has a clear run to make a turnaround work. Woolworths shares closed 2% higher at $22.34.

2. Surf clothes. The turnaround of Billabong to a brand-led global company hit a bump, posting a half year loss of $1.6 million. Its shares closed 0.64% weaker at $1.55

3. Mining camp accommodation? Harvey Norman posted a 30.7% jump in half year profit to $185.51 million on a strong performance by its franchise stores in Australia. Its shares closed down 1.7% to $4.53.

4. A $20 million impairment. Super Retail Group, the owner of Supercheap Auto, Rebel and BCF, booked a non-cash impairment on the Ray’s Outdoors brand. Its shares lost more than 17% to close at $8.32.

5. 400 jobs. Holden has announced the Australian assembly of its Cruze small car will cease in October 2016, a year earlier than the locally-made Commodore.

6. The cliff. One chart shows how Australia is getting crushed by lower Chinese demand.

7. More cabbies. Australia’s biggest taxi business, Cabcharge, posted a 21.7% fall in profit to $24.4 million for the half year to December. Its shares closed down 1.95% to $3.01.

8. The Dick Smith Fire sale. The electronics retailer is closing and the sale has started.

9. The “tubby” and “squat” profile. Two ways Australia’s stock market could play out.

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