AUSTRALIAN STOCKS CLIMB, BANKS SURGE: Here’s what you need to know

Photo by Cesar Lucas Abreu / Getty Images

Australian shares closed higher for the first time this week.

Today’s scoreboard:

ASX 200: 5,732.10 +44.71 (0.79%)
All Ordinaries: 5,779.40 +41.25 (+0.72%)
AUD/USD: 0.7935 +0.0018 (+0.23%)

Bank stocks were the story of the day, surging higher following APRA’s announcement this morning on the level of capital that Australian banks need to remain “unquestionably strong“.

ANZ led the way, finishing 4.13% higher. The other three major banks all finished up more than 3%, as the market’s concerns about the banks being hit with stricter capital requirements were somewhat alleviated.

UBS banking analyst Jon Mott said this morning that ANZ is the closest of all the major banks to meeting APRA’s new capital adequacy ratio.

Among the regional banks, Bank of Queensland climbed by 2.12%. Suncorp was up by 0.6%, while Bendigo & Adelaide closed up by 0.7%.

The ASX200 financials index closed up by 2.44%, dragging the rest of the index higher on an otherwise lacklustre day for the other major sectors.

BHP fell by 1.24% after announcing that annual iron ore production would be at the lower end of guidance in its quarterly report.

Rio Tinto fell by 0.55% while Fortescue was up by 0.56% after iron ore prices rose to a 2-month high last night.

The broader resources sector finished 0.87% lower, while the ASX200 materials index fell by 0.91%. Energy stocks traded flat, with the ASX200 energy index down 0.17%.

Top stories:

1. You can’t do both: With the dismissal of two Greens senators from Australia parliament this week, this is a useful explainer on why you can’t be a dual citizen and a member of parliament.

2. “Unquestionably strong”: APRA made its eagerly-awaited announcement this morning on what constitutes the minimum capital requirements for Australian banks to maintain in order to remain “unquestionably strong”.

3. Still some hurdles to cross: With yesterday’s minutes from the RBA’s July meeting suggesting a more bullish outlook on interest rates, here’s why Australia’s economy still has some hurdles to jump before that becomes a reality.

4. Speaking of dual citizens…: Business Insider’s own Tony Yoo once ran for election in Federal Parliament, but it turns out he had dual South Korean citizenship. Read his fascinating story here.

5. An unsettling picture: While markets are assessing whether or not an interest rate rise in Australia may be on the cards, Westpac’s latest leading index report for June suggests that the Australian economy faces more headwinds.

6. Here’s the shortfall: Following APRA’s announcement this morning on bank capital requirements, UBS banking analyst Jon Mott prepared some calculations to show how much capital each of Australia’s 4 major banks will have to raise.

7. Startup funding: Research shows that more than $600 million went to Australian startups in the first half of 2017, with most of that money going to fintech companies.

8. Ticking time bomb: Although crytpcurrency Ethereum has exploded in popularity (and value) this year, one of its co-founders thinks it’s eventually doomed to fail.