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

Photo: Frazer Harrison/ Getty Images.

Australian stocks fell heavily today, with the ASX200 losing more than 1% after breaking through 5,800 yesterday.

Today’s scoreboard:

ASX 200: 5,763.20 -70.70 -1.21%
All Ordinaries: 5,796.70 -65.54 -1.12%
AUD/USD: 0.7607 +0.0019 +0.25%

Following a mixed lead from Wall Street, all major sectors saw heavy selling across the board, as the local market couldn’t maintain its recent momentum after two straight days of 1% increases.

Resources and Energy stocks led the declines, with both indexes losing 2.71% and 2.23% respectively. Weaker iron ore prices seemed to weigh on the big miners, with BHP down 2.79% while Rio Tinto lost 3.55%.

Energy stocks also struggled following sharp drops in oil. Origin Energy led falls with a loss of 3.25% while Woodside Petroleum finished 1.85% lower.

The ASX200 Financials Index was down by 1.56%. Among the big banks, Westpac was down 2.7%, while NAB and ANZ both lost more than 2%. CBA was down 0.8%, and Bendigo & Adelaide Bank led the regionals lower with a fall of 2.45%.

Bellamy’s, the maker of organic baby food, led gains with a 9% after coming out of a trading halt with news that it had completed a capital raising.

Top stories:

1. Financial cataclysm ahead? Analysts from Macquarie have assessed the impact of technology on the global economy. They note that policy makers have used financial tools at their disposal to help maintain jobs and industries, but decreasing job satisfaction is leading to surprising political outcomes. It raises questions for what comes next as technology continues to fundamentally change the economic landscape.

2. Jobs report smashes expectations: Australia had another bumper jobs report in May, with figures from the ABS showing that employment jumped by 42,000 against a forecast of 10,000. The unemployment rate subsequently fell to 5.5%. Here’s a summary of economists’ reactions.

3. Mt Everest just got easier: If you’re interested in scaling the world’s tallest mountain, a particularly difficult stretch just 70 metres from the summit just got a whole lot easier. Recent footage shows that one of the boulders from the “Hillary Step” is no longer there, making the path to the top much simpler.

4. What is NAIRU? (non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment): As part of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s quarterly bulletin, the bank released an interesting chart which shows the rate of unemployment at which inflation would be expected to rapidly increase. The current estimate is around 5%, still lower than today’s reading of 5.5%.

5. New fintech hub slated for Melbourne: The Victorian Government has unveiled plans to establish a fintech hub in the Docklands precinct. Melbourne is making strides to catch up to its eastern counterpart in the fintech stakes, with Sydney now ranked 8th in the world as a fintech destination.

6. Housing slowdown underway: In more evidence that Australia’s booming property market is starting to cool, auction activity slowed on the weekend with clearance rates in Sydney falling below 70% for the first time since April 2016. It follows house price data which showed Australian property fell in May for the first time in 18 months.

7. Turnbull mocks Trump in leaked audio: In a speech last night at the annual Mid Winter Ball in Canberra, Malcolm Turnbull took a friendly dig at US president Donald Trump, while also making fun of himself. Turnbull impersonated Trump while joking about the fact that both leaders are currently struggling in the polls.

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