AUSTRALIAN STOCKS DRIFT AGAIN: Here's what you need to know

Lachlan Cramsie of Queensland at the 2016 Shark Island Challenge off South Cronulla Point in Sydney. Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Australian stocks closed marginally lower.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,370.00 -1.03 -0.02%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,441.10 +0.08 0.00%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7444 -0.0014 -0.19%

The local market, supported by a rally in energy stocks on the back of higher oil prices, drifted to a flat close for the second session in a row.

Santos was up 2.7% to $4.74 and Woodside Petroleum 0.8% to $27.68. LNG continued its run, adding another 21% to $0.99.

The big miners lost ground and most of the banks were down.

The ANZ was down 0.5% to $24.73 but Westpac added 0.3% to $30.60. BHP droped 1.2% to $19.54.

Webjet came out of a trading halt and jumped 11% to $7.01 after a successful $42 million institutional equity raising to finance buying Online Republic.

The top stories Wednesday:

1. Lending to Australian property investors has come to a shuddering halt. The value of lending to Australian housing investors tanked in April, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

2. Accelerating an attack on debt. Rio Tinto is diving back into the bond market to buy back $US3 billion ($A4 billion) of its US dollar notes, as part of its strategy to survive in a low commodity price world. Its shares closed down 1.9% at $45.17.

3. Retail forecasts. Sales will slow further this year and next as subdued wages growth puts a cap on household spending, according to Deloitte Access Economics.

4. Pay my costs. Adventure clothing retailer Kathmandu is going to court to try to recover costs associated with last year’s attempted hostile takeover bid by Briscoe. Kathmandu lost 1.8% to close at $1.37.

5. The first criminal prosecution over work safety. Construction company John Holland was today fined $130,000 under the Commonwealth Work Health and Safety Act.

6. A new CEO does wonders for the share price. Digital advertising agency the Gruden Group appointed veteran Tim Parker and its shares added 28% to close at $0.045.

7. The dangers of forecasting growth. S&P delivers a withering critique of why governments never get their budget forecasts right.

8. Another way to pay. Apple Pay rival, Samsung Pay, looks set to launch next week in Australia on Samsung Galaxy smartphones.

9. The Westpac Jobs Index. Australia’s jobs market looks like it’s picking up again.

10. Eating well. Two Australian restaurants have made it into the world’s top 100.

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