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AUSTRALIAN STOCKS GO NOWHERE: What you need to know

Australian athlete Ed Jenkins takes a selfie with other athletes during the Australian Olympic Games Opening Ceremony Uniform Official Launch at Bondi Icebergs. Matt King/Getty Images

Australian stocks closed marginally higher.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,010.30 +5.78 +0.12%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,081.50 +5.33 +0.11%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7627 0.0000 0.00%

The local market started the day higher, buoyed by a good session on Wall Street, but deteriorated as the session wore on.

The ASX 200 is up 2.6% this month with one trading day to close March. The market has lost 5.3% since the start of the year.

The banks, which have been sold down in recent sessions, gave up earlier gains to close flat. The Commonwealth was up 0.26% to $73.31 but the ANZ was down 0.39% to close at $23.11.

The top stories Wednesday:

1. Airline for SALE. Virgin Australia may soon lose Air New Zealand as its biggest shareholder. Virgin’s shares lost more than 9% to close at $0.34.

2. A different story if this was an established business. The Australian government deported tech startup Disrupt’s co-founder because he didn’t spend three months picking fruit as his visa required.

3. Pessimism and Australian banks. This is what the equity analysts at Macquarie think about the tough start to the year for bank stocks.

4. Allan Fels and his cheque book. A panel investigating underpayment of workers at 7-Eleven stores has so far seen almost $10 million paid out in compensation.

5. Australian confidence. Here’s proof Australians are snapping their wallets shut until an election date is set.

6. Changes at the ASX. The ASX is losing its monopoly on share clearing but rules over ownership of the exchange have been eased. ASX shares closed 1.2% higher at $41.25.

7. Slower growth in Asia. The Asian Development Bank now sees slower economic growth in emerging nations.

8. Coming to the ASX soon. This tech startup wants to disrupt the world’s telcos with nano-satellites.

9. Discount furniture. Debra Singh, a former Woolworths executive, has been appointed CEO of Fantastic Holdings.

10. Stripes are in. The new Australian Olympic uniform looks like it broke a critical rule for TV.

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