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

Brazen Beau from the Chris Waller stable enjoys a roll in the sand after a trackwork session today at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne. Brazen Beau will contest The Newmarket Handicap on Saturday. Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images

The Australian market coasted to a flat close, ending just over the line, as investors ignored positive signals from Wall Street.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,824.20 +2.85 (+0.05%)
  • All Ordinaries: 5794.3 +1.3 (+0.02%)
  • AUD/USD: 0.7652 -0.0054 (-0.71%)

Overnight Wall street closed firmer with the S&P 500 up 0.4%.

The local market was flat with five sectors higher and five lower. The major banks were all firmer, led by Westpac up 0.83% to $37.67.

Resources companies took a hit, dragging the market down. Rio Tinto was 1.1% weaker at $58.55 and Fortescue down 5.6% to $2.02.

The top stories on Tuesday:

1. The Aussie dollar got crushed and is heading down again.

2. Shares in Australian biotech Sirtex, with a liver cancer drug under testing, closed up 4.4% to $36.08 after UBS put a $50.40 price target on.

3. Do big performance bonuses create profits? Capping and regulating CEO payments, which run to as much as $10 million or more a year in Australia, could help make companies more profitable in the long term, according to research by two academics.

4. Fonterra, the world’s largest dairy exporter, went into a trading halt after a threat to contaminate infant formula in New Zealand.

Letters sent to authorities appeared to be a protest at the use of the poison 1080 in pest control. Prime Minister John Key called it a form of ecoterrorism.

Fonterra CEO Theo Spierings said the criminal threat was against New Zealand and the entire dairy industry.

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