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

Storm Roux of the Central Coast Mariners is injured during A match with Melbourne City FC at Gosford. Ashley Feder/Getty Images

Australian stocks fell hard.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,151.60 -76.12 -1.46%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,201.50 -75.21 -1.43%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7317 -0.0029 -0.39%

The local market closed down for the third session in a row, to end the week almost 1% lower and below the key support level of 5200 on the ASX 200.

Investors followed a global sell off, with the S&P 500 losing 1.4% overnight, on expectations of a rise in official US interest rates and disappointing stimulus measures in Europe.

At one one stage the local market was down more than 1.9% before picking up lost ground. All ten sectors closed in the red.

Financial stocks fell hardest. The ANZ dropped 2.5% to $27.11 and Westpac 1.85% to $32.30.

Among resources companies, Rio Tinto shed 2.6% to $44.38, BHP 1.4% to $17.93 and Woodside Petroleum 1.3% to $29.07.

Santos gained 2.4% to $4.23, adding to its 1.72% rise yesterday after completing a $2.5 billion capital raising to strengthen its balance sheet from weak oil prices.

The top stories Friday:

1. Tough times. Dick Smith, the struggling electronics retailer, is being removed from the ASX 200 index. It closed down 2.5% to 39 cents.

2. Department store sales. Australian retail sales met expectations in October, rising 0.5% to $24.66 billion.

3. Startup stars. This year’s top five fastest growing tech companies in Asia include two businesses from Australia for the first time.

4. A competitive sector. Tim Reed, CEO of MYOB, on building a subscription business and fighting new market entrants.

5. Kick starting the startups. Here are Labor’s policies. And read: What Australia can learn from the UK and US about crowdfunding.

6. A meal with Gina. Gina Rinehart treated 80 bankers to an outback lunch to secure funds for Roy Hill.

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