AUSTRALIAN STOCKS DROP, END THE WEEK FLAT: What you need to know

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Australian stocks dropped today, wiping out the week’s gains.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX 200: 5,729.60 -46.99 -0.81%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,775.40 -45.26 -0.78%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7556 -0.0016 -0.21%

The fall ate into Thursday’s 1.2% rally, putting the ASX200 index flat against last week’s close. The index is down just 0.16% over the five days.

In Asia, stocks and currencies were also a sea of red, following Wall Street’s slump.

The ASX retreated today following a slide on Wall Street overnight where the S&P500 closed down 0.3%, a see-saw from Thursday’s Trump rally after the new US president’s address to congress.

The big miners were the main drag, with Rio Tinto losing 4% to close at $60.92, BHP 1.4% to $25.34 and Fortescue Metals dropping more than 5% to $6.28.

The banks all lost ground with Westpac slipping almost 1% to $33.93.

The top stories:

1. Housing worries. A price crash could balloon bank loan losses and derail household consumption, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said in its first major review of Australia since 2014.

2. The banks grilled before parliament. NAB CEO Andrew Thorburn revealed 200 staff had lost their jobs while senior executives kept theirs.

3. Australian business travellers haven’t given up on the US. Business travel from Australia to the US appears to have increased slightly since Donald Trump became president, despite fears of a slump.

4. Sam Walsh is having problems with his bonus. Walsh, the retiring CEO of Rio Tinto, has had 80% of his pay withheld.

5. Banks could hold on to their credit rating even if Australia is downgraded. Deutsche Bank is questioning whether the top lenders will automatically be downgraded if S&P cuts the sovereign AAA rating.

6. Banks and fintech collaborate against money laundering and terrorism. A new government and private sector alliance launched to combat serious financial crime.

7. Telcos can now cut off people who harass Lifeline. Telecommunications companies have now been given the authority to suspend services to customers that repeatedly make unwanted calls to helplines

8. Get the best NBN plan. Here are the cheapest at each speed tier. The choice between a range of retailers offering NBN products with different speeds, data limits and prices.

9. What to do at the weekend. Here’s what’s new on Netflix Australia in March.

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