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

Photo: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Australian stocks dropped hard in late afternoon trade.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,303.10 -64.56 -1.20%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,309.40 -59.24 -1.10%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7360 -0.0012 -0.16%

On Wall St, the S&P 500 closed up 0.5%. On the local market, a round of profit results did nothing to hold the market up. Eight of the ten sectors lost ground.

The Commonwealth was a major drag as the bank went ex-dividend, closing down more than 5% to $76.91.

The big miners and energy stocks were weaker. Atlas Iron lost 10% to $0.027, Santos 2.34% to $5.84 and Woodside Petroleum 1.66% to $32.05.

The top stories for Tuesday:

1. Dick Smith was smashed on the market today. The company posted increased sales and profit, and an underlying result within expectations but same-store sales numbers were weak. Its shares lost more than 16% to $1.67.

2. The birthplace of Australian TV. Nine Entertainment today signed an agreement to sell its Willoughby site in Sydney for $147.5 million to Hong Kong investor Euro Properties. Nine closed up more than 2.5% to $1.41.

3. Chinese tourists. Sydney Airport increased revenue 4.6% to $594.8 million for the six months to June on the back of a strong rise in international passengers. It closed down 1.23% to $5.63.

4. Qantas has sold its rights to terminal 3 back to Sydney Airport for $535 million in cash. Qantas was up 0.8% to $3.79.

5. The ANZ Bank posted a 4.3% increase to $5.4 billion in cash profit for the the nine months to the end of June, putting it in line to hit a full year record of about $7.2 billion. The ANZ was down 1.86% to $28.97 in a falling market.

5. Asciano takeover. Canada’s Brookfield Infrastructure has won board approval from the Asciano board to acquire the ports and rail group with an improved offer valuing the Australian company at $A12 billion. Asciano closed up 7.15% to $8.69.

6. Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Metals today moved to answer increasing reports that the iron ore miner is in talks to sell a stake in its assets to Chinese companies. Fortescue closed up 7.88% to $1.985.

7. The Australian dollar. These 4 references in the RBA minutes show why the dollar’s fall is so important to economic growth.

8. Australian consumer confidence hits a fresh multi-week high. According to the latest ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer survey, confidence increased by 0.6% to 113.2 last week.

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