AUSTRALIAN STOCKS FALL AGAIN: What you need to know

Backstage during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia at Carriageworks in Sydney. Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Australian stocks closed down for a second day.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,323.30 -32.86 -0.61%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,385.60 -34.85 -0.64%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7215 -0.0014 -0.19%

The local market lost ground for the second session in a row with resources companies following global commodity prices lower.

BHP was down 3.7% to $18.71, Rio Tinto 3.3% to $44.29 and Fortescue Metals 5.4% to $2.94.

James Hardie closed 6% higher to close at $20.12 after posting a 16% fall in full year profit to $US244.4 million but also announcing a $US100 million share buyback.

The top stories Thursday:

1. More in jobs than ever before. Australian employment rose by 10,800 in April in seasonally adjusted terms, narrowly missing expectations for an increase of 12,000.

2. Retailers doing well. An industry insider’s view of JB Hi-Fi’s bid for The Good Guys. Also read: Australian elections really are bad for retailers, some of the time. JB Hi-Fi shares closed 3.3% higher at $23.63.

3. New markets in a virtual world. Myer has built the world’s first virtual reality department store. Myer shares were down 1.6% to $1.19.

4. An 86% jump in profit. Australian Ethical Investment, the environmental and socially responsible financial services company, expects its full year profit to be between $3.47 and $3.84 million. Its shares closed 5.4% higher at $68.48.

5. Is there such a thing as too much KFC? Fast food restaurant operator Collins Foods is paying $25.46 million for 13 KFC outlets around the New South Wales and Victorian border. Its shares added 8.3% to close at $4.56.

6. An angel on a budget. Australian equity-based crowdfunding platform VentureCrowd has launched a new option for wholesale investors, starting from $25,000, using the same progressive fee structure as larger investors.

7. Cutting the company tax rate to 25% from 30%. The government’s corporate tax cuts won’t be as good for the economy as first thought.

8. An update on the reef. Australia’s Great Barrier Reef will be in a “terminal condition” within five years, according to scientists from James Cook University.

9. Local wheels. Ford’s new GT supercar is one of the most sought after cars of 2016, and it’s going to feature wheels made in Geelong.

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