AUSTRALIAN STOCKS FALL AGAIN: Here's what you need to know

A young fan cools off at the 2016 Australian Open at Melbourne Park in Melbourne. Pat Scala/Getty Images

Australian stocks closed down again.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 4,858.70 -34.10 -0.70%
  • All Ordinaries: 4,911.80 -36.70 -0.74%
  • AUD/USD: 0.6914 +0.0051 +0.74%

The local market dropped hard on opening, regained some lost ground but still closed in negative territory for the 11th of 12th sessions. Eight out of ten 10 sectors were lower.

The Australian market has now lost 8.2% since the start of 2016.

Energy stocks, dragged down by further falls in the price of oil, lost 3.41% as a group. Santos shed 8.3% to $2.63 and Woodside Petroleum 2.5% to $26.29.

BHP lost 2.9% to close at $14.63 and Rio Tinto 2% to $38.69. The major banks all slipped with the ANZ losing 2% to close at $24.41.

The top stories Monday:

1. Woolworths is selling Masters. Woolworths has finally decided to walk away from its loss-making home improvement business Masters. Woolworths shares closed 4.3% higher at $23.65.

2. Metcash shares went on a tear. Investors saw the selling of Master by Woolworths as a positive for other hardware groups. Metcash closed up 7.9% to $1.635.

3. The Aussie sausage sizzle comes to the UK. This is how Wesfarmers plans to take over Britain with Bunnings. Wesfarmers shares were up 2% to $40.12.

4. Clive Palmer’s Queensland Nickel goes into administration. The business bought in 2009 from BHP, and now 100% owned by the mining magnate and federal politician, has gone into voluntary administration.

5. We like our cars. Australian new car sales hit a record high.

6. Your Metadata. The Australian federal government has released the names of 57 agencies who are requesting access to people’s metadata through a freedom of information request.

7. What inflation? Australian inflationary pressures ticked slightly higher in December with the latest TD-MI inflation gauge rising 0.2%.

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