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The Australian market closed flat, just into positive territory, largely ignoring a stronger Wall Street.

The iron ore miners continued their slide, following the price of the commodity lower.

Energy stocks suffered as investors waited for a decision by OPEC Gulf oil producers on whether or not to cut production to try to push prices up.

Fortescue was down more than 2.5% to $2.86, BHP was weaker by 1.63% to $32.00, and Oil Search lost 2.64% to $8.47.

The banks were all steady, lead by the NAB, up 1.45% to $32.93.

First, the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,400.90 +4.69 (+0.09%)
  • All Ordinaries: 5,381.40 +1.13(+0.02%)
  • AUD/USD: 0.8585 +0.0037 (+0.43%)

And the top stories on Thursday:

1. Shares in Woolworths jumped by more than 2% today after the supermarket group confirmed its profits forecasts. The shares closed up 2.16% to $31.75.

2. Good news on the economic front with the release of the latest round of Private New Capital Expenditure data from the ABS. While the market had expected Capex to fall 1.5% over the quarter it actually rose 0.2%.

3. The Australian dollar broke below 85 US cents before recovering but market commentators say it’s heading back down.

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