AUSTRALIAN STOCKS FALL HARD: What you need to know

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The Australian market closed weaker.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,004.50 -79.71 -1.57%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,076.20 -75.42 -1.46%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7553 +0.0008 +0.11%

Local shares fell hard as the market headed to the end of the month this week with the ASX 200 dipping below the key 5000 point level before recovering.

The ASX 200 is still ahead by 2.5% this month but down 5.5% since the start of 2016.

Again, the major banks were sold down today. The ANZ, which warned last week of further bad loans from resource-related loans, lost 3.4% to close at $23.20.

Westpac was down almost 3% to $29.93, the Commonwealth 2.2% to $73.120 and the NAB 2.4% to 425.62.

The top stories Tuesday:

1. The crash? Apartments in central Melbourne are being resold at discounts of up to 30% from their original off-plan purchase price, sales data shows.

2. Killing off Homebrand to fight Aldi. Woolworths will ditch its 33-year-old Homebrand label, replacing it with the Essentials packaging.

3. From banking to insurance. Craig Drummond, a career banker, has been appointed the next CEO of Medibank Private, Australia’s largest health insurer.

4. Big pay day on Friday. It’s dividend season at Australia’s listed companies with about $19 billion to be paid out over the next month or so.

5. Energy at the beach. A demonstration wave farm is being built off Bunbury, south of Perth. Protean Wave Energy shares closed down 5.5% to $0.017.

6. Deceptive conduct. A court ruling against Steam, the world’s biggest game distributor, means that offshore sites selling software to Australians now have to comply with local consumer laws.

7. Taxing online purchases. Shares in Bellamy’s, the seller of organic infant formula popular in Asia, fell after reports that China plans to tax goods bought online from overseas. Bellamy’s shares lost 6.5% to close at $10.14.

8. Medicinal cannabis industry could be worth $100 million a year. The University of Sydney Business School released a white paper report looking into the potential of the medicinal cannabis industry in Australia.

9. The secret to Australian workers’ happiness. It’s about work/life balance.

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