AUSTRALIAN STOCKS AHEAD AGAIN: What you need to know

On hold again. William West/AFP/Getty Images

Australian stocks closed higher for the second session in a row.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX 200: 5,761.40 +14.89 +0.26%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,801.90 +13.41 +0.23%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7619 +0.0039 +0.51%

The major banks kept the ASX200 above water, adding to Monday’s 0.29% rise.

Westpac was up 0.8% to $34.45 and the NAB 0.6% to $32.42.

The miners were a drag on the markets with Rio Tinto dropping 0.8% to $61.61 and BHP 0.9% to $25.50.

iSentia, the media monitoring business, gained more than 7% to close at $1.665. The shares have been on a slide since the company reported weaker than expected revenue from its content marketing arm. The shares go ex-dividend tomorrow

The top stories:

1. Going nowhere. The Reserve Bank of Australia surprised no one with the conclusion of its March monetary policy meeting, leaving the cash rate unchanged a 1.50% while conveying a cautiously optimistic tone throughout its policy statement.

2. Consumer confidence fell heavily last week. The ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index slumped 4.4% to 113.9, largely reversing a similarly large increase seen in the previous week.

3. The most hated corporate cliches. Going forward, we’re going to keep the ball rolling, create a ballpark figure after touching base and before moving the goalposts.

4. The Commonwealth’s Ian Narev wants to rebuild trust with the public. He told a parliamentary committee: “We did not do enough to build and maintain that trust. We made mistakes.”

5. Public shaming of bank executives might not work. ANZ Bank CEO Shayne Elliott says a culture of fear saps the courage of good people to own up to their mistakes.

6. A hospital without patients and an insurance company without sick people. Labor MP Matt Thistlethwaite today made a link to the 1980s British TV series Yes, Minister today when questioning Commonwealth Bank CEO Ian Narev in a parliamentary committee.

7. Visitors slowly return to Dreamworld. Ardent Leisure, the owner of the Dreamworld where four people died last year in a ride accident, says visitors are returning to its theme park. Its shares were up 3.8% to close at $1.615.

8. A new blockchain standard will drive innovation in Australian fintechs. Standards Australia has released its roadmap for blockchain standards report.

9. A Tinder-style Australian recruitment app used by Domino’s. Found Careers just won $2.5 million in funding from some famous investors.

10. One major reason there should be more women in finance. They make better share traders than men.

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