Photo: Emmanuel Wong/Getty Images.

Australia stocks gained for the second session this week.

The scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,167.40 +16.87 +0.33%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,199.00 +14.87 +0.29%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7127 +0.0043 +0.61%

The local market rose strongly on opening, following Wall Street where the S&P 500 was up 1.8%, but lost momentum in late trade. Five sectors added weight, and five lost, adding just 0.33% to Monday’s 1.95% rise.

Energy stocks benefited from rising oil prices. Santos was up more than 2% to $4.53. Among the big miners, BHP was up more than 1.6% to $23.88.

The big banks were stronger with the NAB up 1.05% to $30.92.

The top stories for Tuesday:

1. The RBA leaves official cash rates unchanged. The Australian dollar took off.

2. Diamonds make a difference. They are behind the soaring share price of a small Perth-based mining company digging up unique gems in Angola. Lucapa Diamond Company shares closed up more than 27% to $0.585.

3. The second offer did the trick. Veda likes a new $2.5 billion takeover offer from US giant Equifax. Veda shares closed 1.5% higher at $2.69.

4. Australia’s trade deficit blows out to more than $3 billion. Flat growth in exports.

5. Easier trade. Australia and 11 other nations on the Pacific Rim have agreed to an historic free trade agreement.

6. No confidence in the long-term economic outlook. Confidence dipped by 0.5% to 110.0, taking the two week decline to 3.9%, according to the latest ANZ-Roy Morgan survey.

7. The 6 big financial mistakes people make in their 30s. You finally have some experience in the real world but what have you done about the money?

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