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

Romina Amato/Red Bull via Getty Images

Australian stocks closed the session, and the week, lower.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX 200: 5,739.00 -45.66 -0.79%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,786.90 -45.64 -0.78%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7712 -0.0002 -0.03%

The local market drifted to a negative close, weighed down by the big miners. The ASX200 has lost 1.15% over the week.

Falling prices for metals sent Rio Tinto down 4% to $62.88 and BHP 3% to $25.06.

The major banks were in the red with the ANZ 0.6% weaker at $30.96 and the Commonwealth 0.5% at $83.02.

Cabcharge was up 6.6% to $3.86 after reporting a $106.75 million loss. Underlying net profit after tax was $12.2 million and the company announced a special 80 cent dividend on top of the interim payout of 10 cents a share.

Shaver Shop shares dropped 14% to $0.57 after posting a 6.3% rise in profit to $6.3 million. Like-for-like sales were down 0.2%.

Ethical funds manager Charter Hall shares were up 4.2% to $5.20 after posting a 20.8% jump in half year profit to $173.3 million.

Pure-play lithium exploration company MetalsTech debuted on the ASX, its 20 cent shares closing at 27 cents, a better than 30% premium.

The top stories:

1. Afterpay and Touchcorp create a $350 million fintech monster. “Buy now, pay later” startup Afterpay and payments system firm Touchcorp will merge to form a new public company.

2. Every economist thinks Australia will avoid a technical recession next week. The ABS releases its December quarter GDP report next Wednesday.

3. Bellamy’s profits have almost halved. They fell 47% in the first half to $7.236 million following problems with sales of its organic infant formula in China. Its shares closed down 3.8% to $4.31.

4. The losses continue at Billabong. The surfwear retailer posted a loss of $16.1 million for the six months to December but it expects a lift in earnings in the second half. Its shares lost 2.4% to close at $1.22.

5. Murray Goulburn is in the red. The trailing impact of last year’s global dairy glut has worked its way into the latest results for Australia’s largest dairy processor. Murray Goulburn closed 5.6% lower at $0.92.

6. Mayne Pharma’s profit skyrocket. They’re being driven by acquisitions and higher sales. Its shares lost 1.6% to close at $1.47.

7. MYOB shares took a hit. MYOB today confirmed that US-based investment firm Bain Capital had sold off 100 million shares, representing about 16.4% of the company. MYOB closed 6.5% lower at $3.435.

8. Bricks and mortar retail is alive and well. Super Retail, the auto accessory, sports and leisure retailer, has emerged from a restructuring reporting improved profits and a better payout for shareholders. Its shares added 5.8% to close at $10.24.

9. Almost half Australia’s graduates leave university without the skills for a job. GradAustralia, a start-up helping graduates find employment, surveyed 14,000 students across 38 universities for its Top 100 Graduate Employers publication.

10. The dangers, and benefits, of using social media to spruik listed companies. It’s easy to be caught out by the instant and uncontrolled nature of online information flows.

11. Stockspot founder Chris Brycki: 10 things I’ve learnt since starting out as a 19-year-old hedge fund manager.

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