AUSTRALIAN STOCKS AHEAD BY 1.7% THIS WEEK: What you need to know

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Australian shares closed the session, and the week, higher.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,720.60 +55.98 +0.99%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,771.60 +53.86 +0.94%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7640 +0.0016 +0.21%

The ASX200 ended the week 1.7% higher, cancelling out the previous week’s falls and putting the index slightly ahead.

Today the index smashed through the key 5700 mark, held its ground and kept going.

On Wall Street overnight the S&P500 closed 0.6% higher after president Donald Trump made comments promising details of tax cuts soon.

On the local market, the major banks and big miners led the gains. Westpac was up 1.3% to $32.73, BHP 1.8% to $25.88 and Macquarie Bank 1.79% to $85.09.

The top stories:

1. Australian home loans hit an eye-watering $33.4 billion in December. That’s 20% higher than a year earlier.

2. The RBA doesn’t see Australian job growth coming soon. But it is positive about the nation’s economic prospects.

3. News Corp’s $700 million in writedowns for Foxtel and its Australian newspapers. The US-based company posted a loss of $US219 million ($A287 million) in the December quarter mainly due to $US537 million ($A704 million) of non-cash impairments.

4. profits are up despite fewer homes for sale. REA, the majority-owned News Corp online property classified business, posted a 6% rise in half year profit to $121.8 million. REA shares lost 1.2% to close at $53.47.

5. Australia’s economy is resilient. But the IMF says significant risks and certainties lie ahead.

6. The heat. NSW and ACT warned the power could be turned off sooner than predicted.

7. This is how much the NBN spends to hook up your house. There’s a big difference compared to the cost of Fibre just to the node, a communal box in the neighbourhood.

8. 2 favourite interview questions from a Yelp recruiter. “Tell me about a time where you really had to work hard to learn something.”

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