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

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Australian stocks closed marginally higher.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX200: 5,943.70 +2.80 +0.05%
  • All Ordinaries: 6,047.30 +1.70 +0.03%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7851 -0.0032 -0.41%

The local market cruised to a quiete close.

The banks were in the green but the miners fell, with Rio Tinto down 1.6% to $80.26.

BHP took a hammering after releasing its latest results, closing down 4.7% to $29.81.

AMP, which went ex-dividend, dropped 2.6% to $5.23.

Discount variety store chain the Reject Shop was up 12% to $6.60 after lifting half year profit 1.1% to $17.7 million, well ahead of guidance.

Engineering firm WorleyParsons jumped 7% to $15.21 after reporting a statutory net profit after tax of $1.4 million for the six months to December, up from a loss of $2.4 million.

Drinks group Coca-Cola Amatil posted a 80.9% jump in profit to $445.2 million. Its shares closed at $8.83, up 1.6%.

Publisher Fairfax Media was up 4.5% to $0.69 after reporting a 54% slide in net profit to $38.5 million. Underlying Net profit after tax of $76.3 million, down 9.9%.

Top stories:

1. Australia’s wages data beats. But there’s still a big problem with most people’s pay. Also read: The industries with the fastest and slowest wage growth.

2. The NSW government is getting into the wagyu beef business. The state is tipping a $3.3 million investment into the Stone Axe Pastoral Company as it expands into NSW.

3. Coles sales are starting to edge higher. Sales at the supermarket chain owned by Wesfarmers improved during the six months to December but is unlikely to catch up with competitor Woolworths in the short term. Wesfarmers shares closed at $41.99, up 3%.

4. Analysts didn’t like the results from tech darling WiseTech Global. The shares of the Australian software solutions provider for logistics companies took a big hit. It closed at $11.25, down 23.2%.

5. Pelikin has launched a crowfunding equity raise. The fintech startup is founded by 28-year-old Sam Brown, who wants to disrupt traditional retail banking with a more efficient way to manage money in Australia and while travelling abroad.

6. Fortescue beats profit forecasts. Fortescue Metals Group reported a 44% fall in net profit to $US681 million for the half-year ended December. Fortescue dropped 4.6% to close at $5.11.

7. Cash from infrastructure projects. Underlying profit after tax for the Seven Group was up 81% to $159.8 million. Revenue grew 31% to $1.4 billion. Its shares closed 11.5% higher at $18.40.

8. a2 Milk Company smashes its profit. The infant formula maker today posted a 150% jump in profit to $98.5 million for the first half. Its shares jumped by almost 30% to close at $11.30.

9. Acorns, the app using small change to invest, is launching a super fund. The fund, available from March, will be integrated into Acorns Australia’s existing app which has had more than 550,000 downloads.

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