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Australian shares ended the session marginally higher but closed the week well behind.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX 200: 5,715.90 +9.95 +0.17%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,754.60 +12.33 +0.21%
  • AUD/USD 0.7561 +0.0020 +0.27%

The local market coasted to a weak close on Friday, ending the week down about 1.2% as measured by the ASX200.

Today BHP was higher by 1.1% to close at $22.41.

The major banks were either flat or down. The Commonwealth was down 0.9% o 481.11 but Westpac slightly firmer by 0.03% to $30.20.

Top stories:

1. Time to ditch Australian stocks? Equity analysts at Citibank say it could be time to go underweight.

2. Ardent slashes its dividends. The operator of Dreamworld theme park on the Gold Coast where four people died last year is cutting its dividend payout by more than 75%. Ardent shares dropped 6.5% to close at $1.99.

3. Phoney accounts and content hijacking. A battle being played out in the Federal Court has created a window into the media monitoring industry in Australia. Isentia shares were up 2.7% to $2.04.

4. Three federal ministers in a massive backdown. How to avoid contempt of court charges.

5. A $1.5 billion skyscraper for Sydney’s Circular Quay. Developer Lendlease has chosen British architecture firm Foster + Partners best known for the Norman Foster-designed HSBC building in Hong Kong.

6. Australia’s population just hit 24.5 million. According to the ABS, Australia’s residential population stood at 20.828 million at the end of the June quarter of 2007, nearly a decade ago.

7. A big increase in government spending. A research note from ANZ highlights that public sector spending accounts for more 23% of Australia’s GDP.

8. 6 tips for retaining millennial employees. The average amount of time a millennial stays in a job is approximately 1.3 years.

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