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

Angus Ta’avao and team mates do hill sprints during a Waratahs Super Rugby pre-season training session in Sydney. Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Australian stocks fell.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,227.70 -30.64 -0.58%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,276.70 -28.01 -0.53%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7314 +0.0004 +0.05%

Eight out of ten sectors closed lower, adding to Wednesday’s 0.15% drop. But overall the week is well ahead after the 1.9% rise on Tuesday.

The major banks were marginally weaker or flat. Westpac was down 0.57% to $32.91 and the NAB was just 0.13% higher at $30.04.

The miners lost value, led by energy stocks. BHP was down almost 3% to $18.19, Rio Tinto more than 2% to $45.59 and Woodside Petroleum lost 3.7% to $29.46.

The top stories Thursday:

1. Budgets are off. Moody’s Investors Service says the outlook for Australia’s states, territories and local governments is negative as revenue growth slows and costs rise.

2. Paying down debt. Santos has completed its $2.5 capital raising, part of a plan to strengthen its balance sheet in the face of falling oil prices. Santos closed 1.72% higher at $4.13.

3. Crowdfunding in Parliament. Australia’s startups are really annoyed about the Turnbull government’s crowdfunding legislation.

4. Cheap rent. Australian rental growth craters to an all time record low.

5. Dodging bullets. To everyone who said the Australian economy was in trouble this year: Merry Christmas

6. Exports drop. Australia has posted another massive trade deficit in October.

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