AUSTRALIAN STOCKS END THE WEEK AHEAD: Here’s what you need to know


Australian shares closed lower to end the week, after two straight days of gains.

Today’s scoreboard:

ASX 200: 5,722.80 -38.65 (-0.67%)
All Ordinaries: 5,771.20 -34.51 (-0.59%)
AUD/USD: 0.7908 -0.0049 (-0.62%)

The local index had a weak lead from global markets, with US stocks flat while markets in Europe fell as the stronger euro weighted on sentiment.

Despite today’s fall, the ASX200 still finished up 1.2% for the week.

The ASX 200 financials index finished 0.7% lower, after rising by 3.5% over the previous two days following the release of APRA’s minimum capital requirements.

Each of the majors were lower, with Bank of Queensland the only listed lender to finish ahead, closing up 0.8%.

The big miners also had a bad day, with BHP and Rio both down by 2%. Fortescue was 2.5% lower after falling by 3.5% yesterday, following a native title ruling by the Federal Court.

Gold miner Newcrest Mining rose by 0.7%. The ASX energy index was down 1% while the materials sector fell by 1.4%.

The biggest gain on the day was for testing services provider ALS Limited, which rose by 4.6%. Industrial company CSR suffered the heaviest fall, closing 6% lower.

Top stories:

1. Inside Atlassian: Business Insider’s Danielle Brandy got exclusive access to the new offices of leading Australian tech firm Atlassian. They’re situated at George Street in the heart of Sydney’s

2. Don’t read too much into it: Deputy RBA Governor Guy Debelle poured some cold water on the Aussie dollar’s recent rally today. Debelle said the market should place “no significance” on the RBA’s discussions on a higher neutral cash rate earlier in the week.

3. China can teleport: Chinese scientists have used a “spooky” property of the universe to pull off teleportation between the ground and space for the first time. It doesn’t involve actual humans, but the scientists proved that they could teleport beams of light from earth to a satellite in space.

4. Martin Place or ‘Silicon Place’?: Although the new Sydney start-up hub is situated on York Street, it turns out the Martin Place – long known as the financial centre of Australia – is also becoming home to an increasingly number of large technology firms.

5. Bitcoin rockets higher: Did someone say $US3,000? The world’s biggest cryptocurrency dipped below $US2,000 but is now surging the other way, as developers come to an agreement on a new Bitcoin trading platform.

6. Who’s growing?: North Korea, that’s who. According to statistics released by neighbouring South Korea, the hermit kingdom grew by 3.9% last year (bombs, missiles and other assorted items all contributed to headline growth figures), and that’s the highest level of growth since 1999.

7. Twiggy appeals: Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest’s Fortescue Metals will appeal a native title by the Federal Court, that opens the door to increased royalties to be paid to the Aboriginal corporation where the company’s Solomon Hub mine is based.