AUSTRALIAN STOCKS FALL: What you need to know

The TV show Wipeout. Mike Weaver / ABC via Getty Images

Australian stocks closed down.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,469.20 -46.27 -0.84%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,561.50 -45.85 -0.82%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7550 -0.0014 -0.19%

The local market went into retreat with energy stocks and banks leading the way.

Two companies going ex-dividend, Wesfarmers and Woodside Petroleum, accounted for about 10% of the market fall. Wesfarmers closed at $42.86, down 3.3%, and Woodside $28.84, down 2.8%.

Westpac lost 0.9% to close at $29.83 and the NAB 0.98% to $27.19.

Estia Health returned to profit in its latest full year result but the aged care operator missed its guidance. Its shares fell 16.7% to $4.10.

The top stories:

1. James Packer is selling down his share of Crown. His private company, Consolidated Press Holdings, says it has agreed to sell about 35 million shares for about $450 million. Crown shares close at $13.32, down 1.48%.

2. Cashed up and looking for new businesses to invest in. James Spenceley, the telecommunications industry veteran, is bringing to a managed fund his knack of buying value companies, a skill he developed as founder and CEO of Vocus.

3. Stop throwing rocks. Cabcharge CEO Andrew Skelton sees a slowing of the barrage of regulation hitting his payment service and taxi network company. Cabcharge shares added 3.3% today to close at $3.38.

4. Bigger costs on the Littoral Combat Ship. Austal posted a full year loss of $84.28 million because a program to build war ships for the US Navy took longer than expected. Austal shares were up 12.8% to $1.32.

5. The earnings season. If you really want to understand Australia’s earnings season you have to ignore BHP’s results.

6. Marriage equality. Bickering within the pro-marriage equality camp and the argument that a national plebiscite would be “a platform for bigotry” appears close to having the issue shelved for the life of this parliament.

7. The worst float of the past financial year. Online furniture retailer Temple & Webster lost $44.4 million in 2015-16, more than double the $18.5 million loss forecast in its prospectus. Its shares lost 7.9% to close at $0.175.

8. Premium wines are winning. Breaking the lease on one of the country’s largest vineyards has pushed Australian Vintage Ltd into the red, posting a statutory loss of nearly $2 million loss for 2016. Its shares closed 1.9% higher at $0.53.

9. Book your travel Thursday. Plane and concert tickets should get a little cheaper from this week when new rules on credit card surcharges come into effect on September 1.

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