AUSTRALIAN STOCKS DROP: Here's what you need to know

The annual unofficial cheese rolling at Cooper’s Hill in Brockworth, Gloucestershire. Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images

Australian stocks closed lower.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX 200: 5,757.30 -47.87 -0.82%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,792.30 -43.22 -0.74%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7613 +0.0014 +0.18%

The local market gave ground, winding back the gains of yesterday and last week, as investors digested the Moody’s credit rating downgrade of the big four banks because of low wage growth and high household debt.

Westpac shed 1.5% to $30.40 and the ANZ 1.2% to $28.04.

A slide in oil prices hit energy stocks with Woodside Petroleum down 1.2% to 429.92.

Galaxy Resources was up 4.8% to 4$1.74 after Macquarie upgraded its expectations for lithium prices.

And luxury good retail Oroton jumped 4.3% to $1.08 after announcing credit support from a major shareholder.

Top stories:

1. New rules on gas exports. The government will give itself the power to license gas exports in an attempt to bring down domestic gas prices.

2. Tatts and Tabcorp get the nod to merge. The Australian Competition Tribunal approved the $11 billion marriage of the gambling businesses.

3. The housing market is now valued at $6.6 trillion. Australian capital city home prices rose for a fourth consecutive quarter at the start of 2017, according to data released by Australia’s Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

4. Reports of takeover interest. Shares in media monitoring group iSentia soared, closing at $1.98, a 4.7% rise.

5. The good numbers. The Reserve Bank of Australia’s relatively optimistic outlook at its June meeting was backed up by subsequent data.

6. Bury those dreaded annual performance reviews. Most Australian managers agree, according to a study by recruiters Hays.

7. A Max Dupain photo of washing on a line just sold for $15,000. It had been expected to go for $800.

8. The ATO’s tips for your tax return. The deductions for expenses that are commonly misconstrued as work-related.

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