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

The opening of Microsoft’s first Australian store in Sydney. Christopher Pearce/Getty Images

Australian stocks closed slightly higher.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,125.70 +3.08 +0.06%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,182.00 +0.92 +0.02%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7138 +0.0075 +1.07%

The local market had been tracking lower until the latest official jobs numbers showed an unexpected sharp rise in the number of people employed in Australia.

The day ended with five sectors higher and five lower. Energy stocks lost more than 3% while the information technology sector added 2.7%.

Woodside Petroleum was up 1.1% to $29.01 and Computershare 5% to $11.13.

The major banks went against the trend of the last week by gaining ground. Even Westpac, which went ex-dividend yesterday, was up 1.56% to $30.61.

The top stories Thursday:

1. Jobs numbers. Australian employment is growing at levels seen before the GFC. See also: The numbers are so wild that the ABS is changing how it talks about them.

2. The Aussie dollar. The dollar roared higher after the monster jobs gain.

3. Santos punished. The energy company came out of a trading halt after it completed the institutional component of its $2.5 billion equity capital raising. Its shares fell hard, more than 27%, to $4.30.

4. The retailer as a content company. SurfStitch, the online surf wear retailer started in Sydney’s Northern Beaches by Justin Cameron and Lex Pedersen in 2007, has a game plan for growth. It has bought extreme sport video producer Garage Entertainment. SurStitch was up more than 4% to $1.99.

5. At the mine disaster. BHP Andrew Mackenzie says he was overcome by the devastation in Brazil. BHP shares were down 1.62% to $20.61.

6. Tech hub changes. The NSW government has sold the Australian Technology Park to Atlassian’s rival developer Mirvac.

7. Profit warning. Sims Metals Management, the leading metals and electronics recyling company, is getting competition from China.

8. Promotion backfiring. The agency behind the #yourtaxis debacle has been fired.

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