AUSTRALIAN STOCKS AT AN 11 MONTH HIGH: Here's what you need to know

Kye Cornall of New South Wales at the 2016 Australian Barefoot Championships on the George River in Sydney. Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Australia stocks rallied to an 11 month high.

The scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,512.40 +23.68 +0.43%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,588.70 +22.82 +0.41%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7492 +0.0019 +0.25%

The ASX 200 surged through the 5500 point level for the first time since August last year.

It was the tenth positive close in 11 sessions. The market has gained 5.3% so far this month and 4% since the start of calendar 2016.

The rally is supported by a strong showing from global markets, including nine days of gains in the US. The S&P 500 index was up by 0.4% overnight to a new record high.

On the local market, the ANZ was up 0.75% to $25.42, the Bank of Queensland 3.1% to $10.59 and Macquarie Bank 1.1% to $74.05.

Blood products group CSL led a rise in health care stocks, adding 1.8% to $119.11. Cochlear was up 3.4% to $129.66 and Sonic Healthcare 1.7% to $22.62.

The top stories Thursday:

1. Bonfire of the unicorns. The startup cockroaches are coming.

2. Cranes littering Australia’s skylines. The high rise construction boom is scaling to new heights.

3. Competition issues solved. Metcash is nearer to adding the Woolworths wholesale hardware business to its Mitre 10 chain. Woolworths added 0.6% to close at $22.66. Metcash was 2.2% higher at $2.12.

4. Consolidation among non-bank lenders. Homeloans and RESIMAC are merging to create one of Australia’s largest non-bank home lenders with a loan book of more than $13 billion.

5. The $9 billion carve-up of Asciano is going ahead. The takeover is back on track with the consortium partners managing to negotiate through concerns that competition could be restricted for container logistics providers at Australian ports. Shares in Qube, the lead local bidder, closed almost 3% higher at $2.43.

6. Australia Post’s most profitable segment under threat. A Sydney startup has launched a satchel service for small business.

7. Augmented reality for retailers. How the technology of Pokemon Go is translating for retail sales.

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