AUSTRALIAN STOCKS EDGE AHEAD: Here's what you need to know

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Australian stocks edged higher.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX200: 5,890.70 +13.90 +0.24%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,995.20 +13.70 +0.23%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7821 -0.0002 -0.03%

The local market opened on a slide, following Wall Street where the S&P 500 fell 0.5% overnight, but fought back to regain positive territory for the second session in a row.

The ASX200, still well below the 6000 mark, has not regained the height it had before the global slide. The index lost 3.2% on Tuesday.

The NAB added 2.3% to $28.91 after a strong quarterly trading update.

Financial services giant AMP rose 3.3% to $5.20 after posting a full year profit of $848 million.

The big miners led the falls. BHP dropped 1.3% to $29.45 and Rio Tinto, which announced its biggest shareholder payout, was down 1% to $77.46.

Tabcorp fell 6.8% to $4.76 after posting a 58% fall in half year profit to $24 million on the back of the cost of merging with the Tatts Group.

Top stories:

1. Another sign that the housing market is slowing. The average number of days it takes to sell a property across all of Australia’s capital cities.

2. Back in profit. AMP has turned around its insurance business. AMP shares rose 3.5% to close at $5.21.

3. is opening. China’s largest retailer by revenue, is opening a local business office in Australia.

4. AGL smashes its half-year profit. It posted a 91% rise in profit to $622 million for the half-year to December on better prices for wholesale electricity. AGL shares fell 2% to $22.005.

5. The biggest dividend in the Rio Tinto’s history. The company announced cash returns to shareholders of $US9.7 billion.

6. When love blooms in the office. Australian politicians could be banned from having sex with staff.

7. Small caps shine. The top 10 performing IPOs in Australia in 2017.

8. Australia’s image. The strategy behind Tourism Australia’s Dundee Super Bowl pitch to the Americans.

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