Australian stocks closed higher.
Here’s the scoreboard:
- S&P ASX 200: 5,320.70 +28.65 +0.54%
- All Ordinaries: 5,387.80 +29.23 +0.55%
- AUD/USD: 0.7369 +0.0001 +0.01%
The local market hit a year high, as ASX 200 crawled past the 2015 calendar close of 5295.86 points. The index is now up 0.4%, a long way from a 10% low in the first week of February.
Stocks see-sawed today, diving and rising before settling in positive territory.
The major banks improved with the Commonwealth up 1.19% to $75.78. However, the ANZ, trading ex-dividend, lost 3% to close at $24.38.
The big miners were down with BHP dropping 0.27% to $18.41 and Rio Tinto 2% to $46.74.
The top stories Monday:
1. Provisions for bad loans. The Commonwealth posted an unaudited cash profit of $2.3 billion for the March quarter, below expectations, as bad loans increased at Australia’s biggest bank.
2. Dividend cut. Revenue is falling and profit shrinking at Orica as the world’s largest commercial explosives company sees greater than expected volatility in the mining industry. Its shares closed more than 12% down at $13.53.
3. The dollar slide. Forex forecasters are betting the Australian dollar is heading back under 70 cents.
4. The housing market. Prices are marching higher again even with softer auction clearance rates.
5. It’s harder to find work. The number of job advertisements in Australia fell last month, suggesting that the steep deceleration in job growth seen in recent months is likely to last for some time yet.
6. Coal joins iron ore. Multinational miner Glencore has become a substantial shareholder in troubled junior Australian resources company Atlas Iron.
7. Bill Moss joins shareholder register. Rent.com.au has successfully completed a $5.46 million capital raising so it can build a mass market brand profile.
8. Early-stage tech companies blocked. The ASX wants to block risky tech startups from listing.
9. Streaming rules. The Australian Communications and Media Authority could be in charge of regulating streaming services such as Netflix, Spotify, ABC iView and even YouTube if changes from a review into the government agency are enacted.
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