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

Backstage at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Sydney. Mark Nolan/Getty Images

Australian stocks closed marginally higher.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX 200: 5,769.00 +8.81 +0.15%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,811.50 +8.71 +0.15%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7457 -0.0023 -0.31%

The local market coasted, neither falling nor rising for most of the session.

Fortescue Metals dipped 5% to $5.01 and Rio Tinto was down 1.3% to $63.88.

Most of the smaller financials gained ground. AMP was up 1.3% to $5.17, Macquarie 0.7% to $88.85 and Bank of Queensland 0.8% to $11.46.

The big banks were mixed with Westpac down 0.7% to $30.55 and the Commonwealth up 0.07% to $81.00.

Arden Leisure was up 1.4% to $2.08 after releasing a review showing it was considering rezoning parts of the Dreamworld theme park on the Gold Coast to unlock value.

ALS was up 13% to $6.60 after the testing, inspection and certification business posted a full year profit of $81.6 million compared with a net loss of $240.7 million last year.

The top stories:

1. Moody’s cuts China’s rating. The outlook for China was changed from stable to negative and the rating dropped by a notch from Aa3 to A1. Also read: analysts warn it could trigger a negative feedback loop.

2. The residential building boom looks like it’s past its peak. The value of Australian construction work done fell in the first three months of the year.

3. The view from economists at the NAB. The odds of Australia recording another negative quarter of economic growth have increased following the release of construction data from the ABS today.

4. Uber as a ponzi scheme. Hamish Douglass, the co-founder of the Magellan Financial Group, thinks ride share service Uber has a less than 1% chance of surviving the next decade.

5. Nathan Tinkler can’t be a director. Failed mining and racehorsing entrepreneur Nathan Tinkler has been banned from running companies in Australia for almost four years.

6. Woolworths directors have been buying up shares. Four board members have been keen buyers in shares in the supermarket chain.

7. SurfStitch goes into a trading halt. A class action has been launched against the online clothing retailer.

8. Sigma Healthcare says earnings could be 5% lower this year. The cause is a dispute with a customer. Sigma shares lost 31% to close at $0.815.

9. What expats like, and dislike, about working in Australia. They have a better work-life balance in Australia compared to their home countries.

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