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

Australia’s Richie Porte competes during stage seven, the individual time trial of the Paris-Nice cycling race. Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

The Australian market continued its slide today, with investors dropping mining and energy stocks on the back of further commodity price falls.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,797.70 -16.84 (-0.29%)
  • All Ordinaries: 5,769.70 -18.28 (-0.32%)
  • AUD/USD: 0.7644 +0.0010 (+0.12%)

On the local market, the major banks reversed losses earlier in the day to close around 0.5% firmer, led by the NAB at $37.94, up 0.53%.

Woodside Petroleum was down more than 2% to $33.99, Origin Energy weaker by 0.87% to $11.40 and Santos closed down almost 2% to $6.975.

BHP was down 1.2% to $29.40.

CSL, which went ex-dividend, lost 0.93% to $91.81.

The top stories on Monday:

1. GE Capital has sold its Australia and New Zealand loans business for $8.2 billion to Deutsche Bank and private equity firms Varde Partners and KKR. The purchase, the biggest private equity sale in Australia since the GFC, comes with three million customers.

2. Troubled education provider Vocation has sold the Australian School of Management and the Australian College of Applied Education for $15 million. Vocation shares closed up 17% to $0.088.

3. Retail Food Group shareholders have approved the $163.5 million takeover of Gloria Jean’s coffee shops founded in Chicago in 1979. Retail Food Group shares closed steady at $7.50.

4. See the CHART. About $25 billion, or about 1.5% of the Gross Domestic Product, will be paid out by Australian companies in dividends over the next two months.

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