The Burgess brothers at the SCG. Many traders will be looking forward to a stiff drink this evening. (Ryan Pierse / Getty Images)

The Australian stock market staged a late Friday afternoon rally to close off 0.6% to 5,299.20.

Taking the lead from the US where markets closed overnight the ASX was down more than 1.1% earlier in the day.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • All Ords 5278.8 (-31.8, -0.6%)
  • ASX 200 5299.2 (-32.17, -0.6%)
  • AUD/USD 0.8235 (+0.0021, +0.26%)

And the top stories today:

  • The surprise move from the Swiss National Bank meant risk was coming off. The SNB dropped the ceiling it had held since 2011 for the Swiss franc appreciation against the euro.
  • Selling spread through the Asian markets, with the Nikkei down 2.2% a short time ago and the Hang Seng off 0.8% for the day.
  • One Forex platform has shut down and others have been hit hard by the crazy Swiss Franc move.
  • Morgan Stanley execs are running damage control after an adviser stole and posted client information.
  • As investors run for safety the gold price hit a four month high, up 2.5% to $US1259 an ounce. On the ASX today the biggest gains were for gold miners. Northern Star was up 6.76% to $1.975 and Newcrest was up 6.84% to $12.97. Iron ore miners copped some of the biggest declines today with Arrium and BC Iron both off more than 6%. Rio was also down just over 0.5% to $53.89 a share.

Here’s the chart.

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