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

Photo: Ed Wray/Getty Images

Australian stocks closed marginally lower.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,202.60 -8.10 -0.16%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,251.40 -8.35 -0.16%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7230 +0.0004 +0.06%

The local market opened stronger, rising by about 0.8%, but lost ground in the afternoon to close in negative territory. Seven sectors were lower and three higher.

For the week, the local market was down 1%.

Today BHP lost weight again, closing at $18.81, down 0.69%, on continuing concerns about the impact of the fatal mine disaster in Brazil.

The banks were either flat or slighter lower.

Oroton shares jumped more than 9% to $2.80 after the luxury good group reported sales growth of 8% for the first 17 weeks of the year. Its Gap stores grew sales by 10%.

The Retail Food Group, which has Gloria Jean’s Coffee and Donut King, reported a strong start to 2016, with performance either meeting or exceeding budget. Its shares were up 6% to $4.42.

Medtech Mesoblast, which is working on using stem cells for regenerative medicine, gained 15% to $1.79, regaining lost ground after being sold down earlier in the week.

The top stories Friday:

1. Destroyed. Slater and Gordon share got dumped for the second day in a row. Deutsche Bank explains the problem. And this is why the UK is such a problem for the world first listed legal firm. The shares closed down 26.6% to 69 cents.

2. Property blues. Falling house prices in Sydney and Melbourne could open the way for a rate cut.

3. Message to Woolworths. Your apology is not accepted.

4. $3 billion to $4 billion. The National Australia Bank today formally decided to proceed with the demerger and IPO of its troubled UK business, the Clydesdale Bank.

5. The World Cup. Sydney will host the 2019 robot football world championship.

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