AUSTRALIAN STOCKS END THE MONTH DOWN: What you need to know

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Australian shares ended the session higher but closed the month lower.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,317.70 +33.86 +0.64%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,402.40 +31.50 +0.59%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7613 +0.0012 +0.16%

The local market rallied, making up some of the lost ground of the previous five sessions, but ended the month weaker. The ASX200 lost 2.1% in October.

Today, the banks were all stronger, with the Commonwealth up 0.8% to $73.39 and Westpac 0.7% to $30.47.

The big miners also were in positive territory with Rio Tinto closing 0.8% higher at $54.18.

The top stories:

1. Qantas revenue falls. Strong competition on international routes and subdued demand due to the federal election has cut into sales at Qantas. Qantas shares closed 4% higher at $3.06.

2. Goodbye Asia. Singapore’s DBS Bank has bought the ANZ’s retail and wealth business in Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and Indonesia. The ANZ closed 0.8% higher at $27.85.

3. S&P extends its negative outlook to smaller Australian banks. The ratings agency already has the four major banks on negative, reflecting the outlook of the Australia’s triple-A sovereign rating.

4. Evidence that housing investors are returning. According to private sector credit figures released by the Reserve Bank of Australia, credit to housing investors rose by a further 0.6% in September.

5. Mines are hiring again. Job vacancies across the sector are now starting to increase.

6. Startup Divvy Parking has sold 40% of the company to the NRMA. Divvy allows customers to book spare parking spaces inside commercial buildings.

7. Four Australians in the Crown Resorts arrests. Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop has confirmed the detention of a fourth Australian in China.

8. China’s Alipay to Australia. The Commonwealth Bank has signed a deal which will make it easier for Chinese tourists to spend here.

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