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

The PBR Bull Riding Competition at Cunnamulla, South West Queensland. Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

Australian stocks closed the session, and the month, down.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,433.00 -45.29 -0.83%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,529.40 -44.13 -0.79%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7515 +0.0005 +0.07%

The ASX 200 ended August 2.3% in the red, eating into July’s 6.3% gains.

The local market took a slide after a negative Wall Street where the S&P 500 index fell by 0.2% on the timing of the next US rate increase.

Today the big miners led the fall with BHP down 3.2% to $20.43, Fortescue Metals 3.5% to $4.90 and Rio Tinto 3.6% to $47.60.

The banks were mixed with the ANZ up 1.3% to $26.90 and but the Commonwealth dropping 1.5% to $71.81.

Adelaide Brighton shares dipped more than 4% to $5.25 after posting a 6.7% fall in first half profit to $77.1 million.

The top stories:

1. Bonuses will be light at BHP this year. CEO Andrew Mackenzie won’t be getting a short term bonus after the world’s biggest miner posted a $US6.385 billion ($A8.28 billion) loss for the year.

2. The banks. Australia’s banking regulator says it can’t make banks invincible and is actively preparing for the worst.

3. Betting on the Internet of Things. Harvey Norman posted a 30% rise in full year net profit to $348.61 million, beating expectations of about $330 million, as a strong property market continues to underpin home and lifestyle sales. Its shares closoed 2.6% higher at $5.38.

4. The pay isn’t what it was. CEOs at big Australian companies are getting paid less. Also read: Australia’s 10 highest paid CEOs in the ASX 100.

5. There’s money in Instagram. How this Aussie medical school dropout now turns over millions with the help of 90 smartphones.

6. Those travel expenses. Labor senator Sam Dastyari is in trouble after taking $1670 from a Chinese businessman to cover his travel.

7. Mistreatment of customers. The Coalition will hold an inquiry into banks’ treatment of small business to fend off calls for a royal commission.

8. Safe as. Australian housing credit growth continued to slow in July, providing just the latest mixed message on the current state of Australia’s housing market.

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