AUSTRALIAN STOCKS GO NOWHERE: Here's what you need to know

The Old Summer Palace in Beijing. Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

The Australian market traded weaker, following a negative lead from Wall Street, for most of the day before a late mini-rally led to a positive close.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,904.20 +2.61 (+0.04%)
  • All Ordinaries: 5,873.70 +2.21 (+0.04%)
  • AUD/USD: 0.7822 +0.0004 (+0.06%)

Wall Street slipped again overnight with the S&P 500 index closing down 0.4%.

The local market was slowed by Caltex Australia (down 2.53% to $37.72), Healthscope (down 1.94% to $3.04), Iluka Resources (down 4.73% to $8.07) and Prime Media (down 4.44% to $0.86) all going ex-dividend.

The major banks were mostly flat. Among the miners, Rio Tinto was down 2% to $61.15. Woolworths was up 1.64% to $29.83 and Wesfarmers stronger by 1.18% to $43.77.

The top stories on Thursday:

1. Australians are out shopping again. Retail sales posted its biggest rise in months.

2. The next 40 years. Joe Hockey’s Intergenerational Report is all about the case for budget cuts.

3. Government policy needed. RBA Deputy Governor Phil Lowe issued the Government, and the Parliament, a warning that monetary policy and the RBA can’t rescue the economy on their own.

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