Sean Szalek of Western Australia at the Men’s High Jump during the Australian Junior Athletics Championships n Perth. Paul Kane/Getty Images

The Australian market ended the session, and the week, higher.

Here’s today’s scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,166.40 +16.33 +0.32%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,224.80 +13.88 +0.27%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7489 +0.0035 +0.47%

Australian stocks are up 1.5% this week and 5.8% for the month. The losses since the start of 2016 are shrinking, with the ASX 200 down 2.4%.

Today the local market got push higher from a rising Chinese currency. China’s yuan hit its highest against the US dollar for 2016 after the American currency fell overnight in reaction to the European Central Bank’s cut in interest rates.

The major banks were either flat or higher. The NAB was up 0.9% to $27.92 but the ANZ lost 0.28% to $25.42.

Bionic ear maker Cochlear, one of Australia’s three $100 plus stocks, got clearance from the Food and Drug Authority in the US for its smart bone conduction solution. Its shares closed up 0.4% to $103.70.

The top stories Friday:

1. Iron ore blues. BHP Billiton’s joint venture mine in Brazil, where a tailings dam collapsed in November leaving 19 dead, could be producing again within 12 months. BHP closed 0.5% down at $17.61.

2. Understanding the iron ore market. Compared to other commodity markets, iron ore rarely gets a mention outside of major iron ore producing nations such as Australia and Brazil, and end users such as China.

3. An average gain of 48%. The performance of private equity floats in Australia are far better than recent comments sparked by the failure of Dick Smith might suggest.

4. China demand. Bellamy’s, the Tasmanian company whose sales have exploded on demand in China for its infant formula, has made it into the to 200 ASX-listed companies. It closed 1.6% weaker at $10.79.

5. The dairy glut and banks. The impact of falling prices is starting to flow through from New Zealand farms to major banks in Australia.

6. From float to failure. The rise and fall of Dick Smith.

7. A tasty donation. Noma Australia is auctioning off its last dinner in Sydney for charity.

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