AUSTRALIAN STOCKS FALL: Here's What You Need To Know

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The Australian market went into free fall today, dropping more than 1.2% before recovering more than half the losses.

Investors ignored signals from Wall Street where the S&P 500 was up about 0.29% overnight.

The local market was led down by the miners. Fortescue slumped almost 7% to $2.78, BHP was weaker by almost 4% to $32.15 and Rio Tinto more than 3% to $58.35.

First, the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,334.80 -27.00 (-0.50%)
  • All Ordinaries: 5,320.90 -28.08 (-0.52%)
  • AUD/USD: 0.8598 -0.0019 (-0.21%)

And the top stories on Tuesday:

1. Medibank Private hit $2.22, an 11% premium on the price paid by retail investors, on opening on the ASX today. The float raised $5.679 billion for the government to spend on infrastructure.

2. Gaming group Aristocrat Leisure posted a full year statutory loss of $16 million. In the 12 months to September 30, the gaming company’s performance for the year was ahead measured against with normalised profit (after write downs for the Japan business and the sales of the lottery business) of $118.1 million, a 10.2% increase in reported terms. Its shares were up almost 3% to $6.78.

3. Good news for retailers. ANZ Chief Economist Warren Hogan, in a note accompanying the release of the ANZ – Roy Morgan Weekly Consumer Confidence index , said: “Alongside low interest rates and rising house prices, this should support consumer confidence and retail spending as we head into the Christmas season.”

4. Godfreys, the retailer known for its loud television advertisments where a vacuum cleaner sucks up a bowling ball, is to float on the ASX to raise $77.7 million for expansion.

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