ASX GIVES IT ALL BACK IN ASIA SELL-OFF: Here's what you need to know

Willy the polar bear playing with his favourite toy at the North Carolina Zoo. Valerie Abbott / Barcroft Media / Getty Images

Australian stocks closed marginally lower.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,146.00 -1.06 -0.02%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,231.70 +1.33 +0.03%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7386 -0.0023 -0.31%

The local market surged in early trade before fading to a flat close as the contagion of Brexit, the possible departure of the UK from the European Union, took hold again.

Energy stocks dragged on the market after oil prices slipped overnight. Santos dropped 3.8% to $4.25 and Woodsdie 0.5% to $25.97.

The banks were off but the big miners were steady. The NAB shed 0.8% to $24.78 but BHP gained 0.39% to 417.89.

Medibank dropped 5.5% to $2.91 after the consumer watchdog the ACCC accused it of misleading customers by not telling them about limits to some hospital treatments.

Gold miners did well as investors jumped to the traditional safe haven of the precious metal, sending its price over $US1300 an ounce. Northern Star added 5% to $5.09 and Evolution 4.7% to $2.43.

The top stories Thursday:

1. Splitting up the crown. Billionaire James Packer’s Crown Resorts is being split to isolate the struggling Macau business and break free the cash machine of the Australian casinos and associated property holdings.

2. Jobs and unemployment. Employment increased by 17,900 in May and the unemployment rate stayed steady at 5.7%, according to the ABS.

3. Brexit worries. For the first time on record the yield on benchmark Australian 10-year government bonds has fallen below 2%, touching a low of 1.998%. Also read: The Brexit chaos is already here.

4. SHORT STACK. What Australian stock traders are betting against this week.

5. Suspicious share price movements. The share price of Surfstitch, the online surf clothing retailer, has now dropped significantly twice before major announcements were made to the market. Its shares closed down 3.9% to $0.245.

6. The unofficial dress code in corporate Australia. The relaxing of dress codes at professional services companies, which have long been considered one the most grey and traditional sectors, isn’t a green light to swap the suit for jeans.

7. Large claims for commercial and marine damage. Insurance claims from the east coast storm have tripled to $235 million.

8. The most expensive house in Victoria. Tony and Jennifer Smorgon sold their Toorak mansion for at least $24 million.

9. 25 incredible images of a Sydney you won’t recognise by Australia’s greatest photographer. Max Dupain, the 20th Century photographer.

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