AUSTRALIAN STOCKS CHARGE AHEAD: What you need to know

Tukta at Taronga Zoo in Sydney painted as they are in Thailand to recognise the Thai New Year today. Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

Australia stocks closed higher.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,054.70 +79.05 +1.59%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,127.20 +73.55 +1.46%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7674 +0.0079 +1.04%

Resources stocks followed global oil and iron ore prices higher, pushing the ASX 200 index through the key 5000-point barrier. Today’s surge puts the market almost flat for the month of April so far but 4.5% down sincee the start of 2016.

Wall Street rose overnight as energy stocks rallied on reports of an oil production freeze. The S&P 500 was 1.0% higher.

On the local market, BHP closed 6% higher at $17.92, Rio Tinto 4.5% to $47.38 and Woodside Petroleum almost 3% to $25.82.

Atlas Iron added more than 13% to $0.025 and Fortescue Metals 7.7% to $3.19.

The major banks all gained ground with Westpac up 2.78% to $29.94.

The top stories Wednesday:

1. A big hit. Australian consumer confidence fell heavily in April with the Westpac-MI consumer sentiment index sliding 4% to 95.1.

2. The Telstra brand at risk. Telstra’s same sex marriage backdown could see its value take a hit. Also read: Telstra removed its support for same sex marriage, allegedly due to pressure from the Catholic Church. Telstra shares were flat at $5.16.

3. The world’s first commercial jetpack. Martin Aircraft is putting a powerful new engine into the New Zealand built jetpack. Its shares closed 3.3% higher at $0.465.

4. Insolvency. Australians are going broke at the fastest rate since the GFC.

5. Low interest rates. There’s a fundamental problem with the way central bankers have been running monetary policy and it could mean Australia’s remarkable economy is a house built on sand.

6. A wild ride for Blackmores shares. Here’s the technical outlook.

7. Iron ore blues. Chinese iron ore futures have rallied so much they can’t go any higher.

8. Watch out. More Australian Netflix accounts are being sold on the black market than ever.

9. Large payments. Clive Palmer was “in a panic” when he transferred $43 million out of Queensland Nickel in a single day. Also read: Production costs were spinning wildly out of control.

10. Single malt whiskies. 14 everyone should try at least once.

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