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Australian shares continued their slide.

The scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,465.70 -74.84 -1.35%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,551.40 -70.75 -1.26%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7590 -0.0021 -0.28%

The local market had a second day of falls with the ASX 200 dropping below the 5500 point level and adding to Tuesday’s 0.84% loss. The index has shed 1.7% this week.

Investors followed markets in Europe where the banking sector was hit after Commerzbank warned about negative interest rates shaving profits. The European Banking index fell 3.4%.

Westpac lost 2.5% to $30.06, the Commonwealth 2% to $76.03, the NAB 2.8% to $25.84 and the ANZ 1.9% to $25.23.

However, Genworth Mortgage Insurance was up 6.9% to $$3.10 after reporting a 20% improvement in net profit to $135.8 million for the six months to June.

The Seven Group gained 7.6% to $7.18 on a full year profit of $197.8 million compared to a $359.1 million loss the previous year.

The top stories:

1. More gold on the Yellow Brick Road. Entrepreneur Mark Bouris signals an end to an aggressive growth phase and the start of a franchise wealth management business.

2. The latest Australia Performance of Services Index. The nation’s services sector is showing signs of life.

3. The Qantas Vs Tourism Australia fight. The four-year breakup is over with the duo announcing a three-year $20 million deal to promote Australia globally today.

4. The Olympics and the markets. According to the latest research, stocks tend to rally both during and after the Olympics, especially in the US.

5. The world of low interest rates. This is why cutting doesn’t mean more investment.

6. Are open plan offices that good? The negative effects on employees are now been well documented.

7. Amazing growth. Australian online retail sales topped $20 billion in the 12 months to June, accounting for around 6.8% of spending at traditional bricks-and-mortar retailers.

8. Using in-flight WiFi. A review of the Internet OnAir service of Singapore Airlines.

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