Australian stocks closed lower.
- ASX 200: 5,784.70 -20.40 -0.35%
- All Ordinaries: 5,832.50 -17.62 -0.30%
- AUD/USD: 0.7689 -0.0012 -0.16%
The local market drifted to a weak close, picking up from earlier lows but still weighed down by the big miners.
Rio Tinto, going ex-dividend today, fell 5.45% to $65.60. BHP dropped 2.6% to $25.84.
The major banks were mixed with ANZ up 1% to $31.17 but NAB was down 0.3% to $32.09.
Shares in Costa Group, Australia’s largest horticultural company, were up 2.5% to $3.59 after posting a first half statutory profit of $15 million, up from zero the same period last year.
Macquarie Atlas added 0.7% to $5.10 after almost doubling net profit to $225.1 million for the first half.
The top stories:
1. The world’s best paid postie has quit. Australia Post CEO Ahmed Fahour tendered his resignation two weeks after prime minister Malcolm Turnbull criticised his $5.6 million pay packet.
2. Online retailer Kogan.com smashed its earnings. Net profit after tax for the six months more than doubled to $3.7 million, beating the full year prospectus forecast of $2.5 million. Kogan shares closed at$1.58, up 0.3%
3. Sunday penalty rates have been cut. The Fair Work Commission has decided to cut Sunday penalty rates for hundreds of thousands of retail, hospitality and fast food industry workers. Also read: A new class of working poor.
4. Australian CAPEX comes in weak. Australian business investment continued to slide in the final three months of 2016.
5. A softer domestic market for Qantas. The national airline posted a 25% slide in after tax profit to $515 million for the half year to December. Qantas shares were up 5.3% to $3.74.
6. Fewer homes to sell and fewer agents to sell them. McGrath’s half year profit slump. Its shares fell 4.6% to close at $0.61.
7. A soft free-to-air TV market. Nine Network records a $236.9 million loss. But Nine shares rose 7.2% to close at $1.035.
8. MYOB is buying Paycorp Payment Solutions. The Australian cloud software group has agreed to pay $48 million. MYOB shares added 3.6% to close at $3.69.
9. Webjet profit soars. Net profit after tax for the first half nearly quadrupled to $39.4 million on the sale of its Asia-focused business unit Zuji. Webjet shares were up 1.8% to $11.74.
10. High rollers make themselves scarce. Crown Resorts, controlled by billionaire Jame Packer, posted normalised net profit after tax of $191.3 million, down 9.1%, for the six months to December. Its shares rose 7.9% to close at $12.29.
11. The Dreamworld tragedy. Ardent leisure posted a statutory loss of $49.4 million. Its shares fell 21% to $1.69.
12. Australia’s fintechs take on the world. Investment in Australia’s emerging fintechs increased in 2016 while the rest of the world slumped.
13. Freelancer just posted a record $52.75 million in revenue. The pioneering freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace company, today reported another record result. Its shares were up 5.7% to close at $0.835.
14. A resumé tester to tell if your job application will make it past automated screeners. Online job search service Adzuna has a new tool.
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