AUSTRALIAN STOCKS BREAK THE RALLY: Here's what you need to know

Photo: Morne de Klerk/Getty Images

The Australian market’s 12-day, record-breaking run of gains ended today on disappointing Chinese trade data and weak signals from Wall Street.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,814.90 -5.27 (-0.09%)
  • All Ordinaries: 5,770.10 -4.57 (-0.08%)
  • AUD/USD: 0.7764 -0.0035 (-0.45%)

In the US, the S&P 500 index lost 0.3% on Friday. In China, imports fell a worse-than-expected 19.9% in January on falling commodity prices and weaker domestic demand.

Locally, most sectors were down, including the banks and the miners. Healthcare was a standout positive, up 1.91% as a sector. Among individual stocks, CSL was firmer by 1.79% to $90.03 and Ramsay was up 1.31% to $61.65.

The 12 positive sessions in a row was a record for the ASX 200 index. The local market gained about 4% last week and is up around 10% since the start of 2015.

The top stories on Monday:

1. Good news on the economic front with the release of ANZ Job Ads which rose another 1.3% in January to record the eight consecutive month of growth. The year on year growth rate sits at 10%.

2. Fairfax Media shares fell after mining billionaire Gina Rinehart sold her entire holding for an average 86.75 cents each, well below market prices. Its shares closed down almost 9% to $0.875.

3. Shares in condom maker Ansell jumped on strong results. Its six months to December net profit jumped by 34% to $US87.7 million after a 20% increase in sales to $US847.3 million. Its shares closed up more than 5% to $24.3.

4. Getting rid of fossil fuels. The University of Sydney is to reset its $413 million share portfolio to fight climate change. Australia’s oldest university’s aims to cut the portfolio’s carbon footprint by 20% over the next three years.

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