AUSTRALIAN STOCKS GAIN 4.4% THIS WEEK: What you need to know

Daniel Ricciardo of Australia prepares to go out during practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of China at Shanghai. Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Australian stocks closed the week higher.

Here is today’s scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,157.50 +38.88 +0.76%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,224.10 +36.39 +0.70%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7716 +0.0023 +0.30%

The local market pushed into positive territory, ending the week 4.4% higher and the month of April ahead by 1.4%. The losses since the start of 2016 have narrowed to 2.6%.

Official numbers from China showing economic growth at 6.7% helped support the Australian market.

The banks and the miners, which led the market this week, were mixed today.

Westpac was up 0.55% to $30.90 but the NAB was up just 0.11% to $26.76.

BHP was up 2.17% to $19.28 but Rio Tinto was down 0.82% to $48.20.

The top stories Friday:

1. A challenging market. Listed real estate agency McGrath has gone into a trading halt while it reviews its 2016 financial year prospectus forecasts.

2. Great dividends. Investors in Asia have changed their mind about Australian equities over the last year and now like the look of what’s happening on the ASX.

3. A massive 185% rise to $41 billion in impairments. Australia’s largest listed businesses, the ASX 50, have suffered their lowest collective profit since the GFC.

4. The start of a new industry. Australia’s first medicinal cannabis farm has opened.

5. Bigger startup spaces. Sydney’s Fishburners startup hub is set to quadruple in size after nabbing a new site in the city’s CBD after a 2 year search.

6. Telstra CTO Vish Nandlall. If everyone stops talking about innovation maybe some of it can actually get done

7. The most expensive terrace in Australia. A terrace in Sydney’s Potts Point fetched a record-breaking $13 million.

8. Pub review. What it’s like at The Newport, Sydney’s renovated megapub.