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Australian stocks closed the session marginally lower but ended the week ahead.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX200: 5,904.00 -5.00 -0.08%
  • All Ordinaries: 6,004.80 -3.90 -0.06%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7968 +0.0024 +0.30%

The local market ended the week with the ASX200 index 1.1% higher.

Today, the banks were in the red except for the Commonwealth, which went ex-dividend this week, just ahead by 0.2% to $74.02.

Blood products group CSL was up 1.2% to $153.39.

Whitehaven Coal fell 4.5% to $4.45 after foreshadowing a reduction in production from its Narrabri mine. Its first half profit was 63% higher at $257.2 million.

The Star Entertainment Group, the operator of Sydney’s Star, Jupiters on the Gold Coast and Treasury Casino in Brisbane, fell 6.2% to $5.67 after posting a 77% in drop profit to $32.9 million. Weaker trading expected in the second half.

Top stories:

1. Barnaby Joyce and Malcolm Turnbull in a public war of words. Joyce says Turnbull is “inept” and causing his family “further harm”. Turnbull says Joyce made a “a shocking error of judgment”.

2. China’s market power. Australia’s recycling waste industry is in crisis.

3. Webjet has developed blockchain for hotel bookings. It’s called Rezchain and gets rid of disputed bookings. Webjet closed at $9.58, down 1.6%.

4. Medibank lifts profit. A 5.9% increase to $245.6 million on the back of slower growth in health insurance payouts, cost cutting and a lower customer churn rate. Medibank shares closed at $3.15, up 3.6%.

5. The dividend stream. So far this reporting season, 46% of have exceeded expectations and 72% have increased dividends.

6. ALARM BELLS. First home buyers have just been warned against rushing back into the market.

7. Drop out now. Sprawling country estates for sale in Australia right now for every budget.

8. The top 10 hotels. Here’s how the world’s rich travel and spend their money.

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