AUSTRALIAN STOCKS CLIMB: Here's what you need to know

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Australian stocks climbed for a second straight day, after posting a 1% gain to close the week on Friday.

Here’s today’s scoreboard:

ASX 200: 5,739.30 +28.62 (+0.50%)
All Ordinaries: 5,805.10 +27.67 (+0.48%)
AUD/USD: 0.7766 -0.0012 (-0.15%)

It was another strong session for the local index, despite a weaker lead from global markets on Friday night.

Financials and consumer stocks led the way, offsetting falls in resources and energy.

All the big banks moved higher, led by NAB which closed up 1.39%. Commonwealth Bank rose by 0.6% despite announcing that it would defend a class-action lawsuit launched by law firm Maurice Blackburn in the wake of the bank’s alleged breach of money laundering protocols.

BHP and Rio both had small declines, while South32 fell by 1.8% and Fortescue was down 2.5% as iron ore futures fell to a three-month low in afternoon trade.

Large retailers had a positive session following a rough trot last week, with JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman both up by 1.8% while Myer rose by 0.67%.

The biggest mover of the day was listed hotel company the Mantra Group. Shares in Mantra came out of a trading halt and shot up to close 16.41%, following a takeover offer from Paris-based hotel company Accor Group.

Top stories:

1. Interest rate cuts “more likely”: JP Morgan chief economist Sally Auld remains unconvinced about the increasingly popular view that the RBA will hike rates next year, and instead suggested that there’s more risk of another rate cut by the central bank.

2. Cooling off: The latest weekly auction clearance data from CoreLogic provided more evidence that house prices in Australia’s major housing markets continue to moderate.

3. Shares in Buddy Platform go Gaga: An Australian tech startup that counts Lady Gaga as a seed investor has seen its shares quadruple in value this year. Buddy Platform, which is listed on the ASX, provides sensor devices in commercial buildings which monitor and reduce energy usage.

4. Property flipping: New research from CoreLogic shows which markets have performed the best for investors who bought and sold their property within a five-year timeframe to the end of June.

5. A Google executive shares his simple routine: It might seem too good to be true for a busy tech executive to only work from 9:00am to 5:30pm, but Google’s senior vice president of platforms and ecosystems, Hiroshi Lockheimer, has proved it’s possible.

6. Pence walks out: US Vice President Mike Pence flew out to Indianapolis to watch an NFL game, only to leave almost immediately after several players took a knee during the national anthem.

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