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AUSTRALIAN STOCKS SLIP: What you need to know

Dust by artist Norton Flavel at Sculpture By The Sea 2016 at Cottesloe Beach in Perth. Paul Kane/Getty Images

The Australian market closed weaker.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,142.30 -24.32 -0.47%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,205.30 -25.48 -0.49%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7617 -0.0004 -0.05%

The market slipped in quiet trade heading into the Easter long weekend but is still up 5.3% this month.

The major banks and the big miners led the market down. BHP lost 1.68% to close at $17.60. The NAB was down 1.98% to $27.22 and Westpac was in the red by just 0.3% to close at $32.33.

Pharmacy group Sigma Pharmaceuticals was up 3.5% to close at $1.025 despite reporting a 4.3% drop in annual profit to $50.5 million.

TPG Telecom added another 1.5% to $11.26 after yesterday posting a 90% rise in half year profit to $202.5 million.

The top stories Wednesday:

1. A housing shortage? According to an estimate by the ANZ, Australia faces a shortage of 250,000 homes. Also read: Australians may be steering clear of a housing bust by being great savers.

2. The global dairy glut. Fonterra smashes profit but is worried about a steep fall in prices.

3. Algorithms don’t rule. Fintech Nimble has to refund $1.5 million because it let algorithms decide who was good for a payday loan.

4. Another casualty of fallying commodity prices. The $40 billion floating Browse LNG project off Western Australia has been dropped.

5. Researchers at Barclays. Extreme financial market volatility is here to stay.

6. The Telstra outages. Four major outages in less than two months caused by four separate problems.

7. Over at the ANZ bank. Shayne Elliott’s first steps in his master plan to fix the culture.

8. Jobs, jobs. Here’s where the openings are in Australia right now.

9. The long weekend. Where to dine this Easter long weekend in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

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