AUSTRALIAN STOCKS DROP AGAIN: What you need to know

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Australian shares closed lower for a second session in a row.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,620.90 -40.62 -0.72%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,675.00 -39.31 -0.69%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7565 +0.0010 +0.13%

The local market fell again with the backdrop of a Wall Street subdued by uncertainty over the Trump administration’s restrictions on immigration.

All sectors were in the red with the big miners the main drag.

BHP fell 2.6% to $26.64, Rio Tinto 1.7% to $66.68 and Woodside Petroleum 2.1% to $31.56

Westpac was down 0.9% to $31.71, Qantas 2.2% to $3.41 and Telstra 1.1% to $5.00.

Education provider Navitas closed down 6% to $4.43 after reporting a fall in earnings within its business units. Net profit, up 18.1% to $53.3 million, was boosted by one off gains.

The top stories:

1. A mobile network 10 times faster than the NBN. Telstra today launched the world’s first Gigabit LTE network.

2. Business borrowing has jumped. Business credit climbed 1.1% in December from the previous month, the sharpest increase since September 2015, according to data from Reserve Bank of Australia.

3. Gold is back above $1,200 an ounce. Risk aversion has taken hold in Asia, continuing the standard set in European and US markets before them.

4. Telstra will publish how fast the NBN will be at your address. At the moment there is no way consumers can find out what type of technology will be used or what sort of speed to expect.

5. Fortescue’s assault on costs. The pure play iron ore miner has achieved its target on cutting the cost of digging up ore earlier than expected.

6. carsales.com acquires a big network of auto classifieds. Australian-based carsales.com is creating, in a $6.7 million acquisition, the number one online automotive classifieds network in Latin America. Csales shares were steady at $10.44, down just 0.19%.

7. Still distrust your politicians? Bill Shorten has a plan. Also read: Australia is at risk of becoming an unskilled enclave.

8. Falling demand for IVF treatments. Virtus Health, Australia’s largest in vitro fertilization (IVF) provider, is being hit by growing numbers of low cost competitors. Its shares lost 17.7% to close at $5.11.

9. A bloodless handover of power. Prince Leonard is stepping down as head of state for Australia’s oldest micronation.

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