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

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Australian shares closed marginally lower.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX 200: 5,779.20 -5.90 -0.10%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,827.20 -3.62 -0.06%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7939 +0.0014 +0.18%

The local market was subdued by the major banks and a steep fall in Telstra which announced lower dividends for this financial year.

The Commonwealth Bank was down 0.36% to $79.55 and the ANZ 0.2% to $30.36.

Among the miners, Rio Tinto was up 1.3% to $63.61 and BHP 0.9% to $25.92.

Gaming group Tatts added 2.2% to $4.02 after posting a 16% fall in profit to $221.21 million.

Homewares retailer Adairs was up 6.9% to $1.38 after reporting substantially improved sales in June.

Telco Vocus lost 2.1% to close at $$3.21 after announcing a non-cash impairment of $1.53 billion.

Cochlear jumped 7.1% to $153.02 after the bionic ear company announced an 18% rise in full year profit to $223.6 million.

Insurer QBE fell 7% to $QBE $11.17 despite posting a half year net profit of $345 million, up 30% from the same time last year.

Top Stories:

1. Telstra got creamed. Australia’s biggest telco today foreshadowed an almost 30% cut in dividends during the current financial year. Also read: it exposes a problem in Australian share investing. The shares fell 10.6% to close at $3.87.

2. Foxtel punched a $37 million hole in Telstra’s results. The result comes just days after News Corp wrote down the value of its stake in Foxtel, which is a 50-50 joint venture with Telstra.

3. The burga affair. One Nation leader Pauline Hanson appeared in the Australian senate today wearing the full black covering.

4. Australia’s golden run of jobs growth continues. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), employment rose by 27,900 in seasonally adjusted terms in July, topping expectations for an increase of 20,000.

5. Coles earnings slide. Wesfarmers posted a 22.1% lift in full year net profit after tax as home improvement chain Bunnings helped offset weaker earnings from supermarket Coles. Wesfarmer shares were marginally higher at $41.87, up 0.29%.

6. How your pay packet compares to the average. Private-sector workers’ average earnings in Australia grew by just 0.8% to $1,123.50 in the year to May.

7. Treasury Wine Estate profits soar. The company lifted full year net profit after tax 55% to $269.1 million on the back of its premium wine strategy and its Asia marketing push. Its shares closed 3% higher at $12.96 $12.96.

8. An insider to replace CEO Christine Holgate. Blackmores has appointed Richard Henfrey, the vitamin company’s chief operating officer. Blackmores closed at $90.99, up 4.2%.

9. A difference between politeness and compassion. And this is the one you should focus on to get ahead.

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