AUSTRALIAN STOCKS JUST HAD THEIR BEST WEEK FOR 5 MONTHS: What you need to know

Lleyton Hewitt during the Davis Cup tie between Australia and the US at Kooyong. Robert Prezioso/Getty Images

Australian stocks closed the session and the week higher.

Here’s today’s scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,090.00 +8.88 +0.17%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,151.10 +8.90 +0.17%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7358 +0.0006 +0.08%

The Australian market, spurred by a global rally, had its best week since October last year and the second best in four years, narrowing the losses for 2016.

The ASX 200 gained 4.3% over the five days and is now down 3.8% since the start of the year.

Today the banks added to their recovery of the last few days with Westpac up 1.5% to $31.71.

And the miners also gained weight with Rio Tinto 1.58% higher at $44.90 and Santos up 5.6% to $3.90.

BHP had a stellar week, despite a ratings downgrade, going from a low of $15.55 on Tuesday to close today at $17.67 today, up 13.6% over the week.

The top stories Friday:

1. ASIC takes the ANZ to court. Australia’s financial regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), alleges market manipulation of the bank bill swap reference (BBSW) rate. The ANZ closed 0.89% higher at $25.02.

2. Retail sales. There’s a sign the surge in Australian economic growth may have been short-lived.

3. The first home buyer paradox. The acceleration of housing prices has Australia’s cohort of first home owners wanting to enter the market.

4. Is Nine in play? Its shares soared after a someone grabbed a 3.4% stake for about $50 million. Nine shares closed almost 5% higher at $1.58.

5. Another fintech gets bought. ASX-listed Pioneer Credit has acquired mortgage broking innovator switchmyloan.com.au for an undisclosed sum. Pioneer Credit closed down 2.2% to $1.75.

6. Surplus cash. Building products group CSR Limited, its balance sheet swollen by the housing boom, announced a return of surplus cash to shareholders in an on-market share buy-back of up to $150 million. CSR shares closed 3% higher at $3.10.

7. Dick Smith fallout. The Move airport stores are closing.

8. A review. Acorns, the spare-change investment app, launched in Australia just three weeks ago, and by Thursday the fintech startup announced it had more than 50,000 local signups.

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