AUSTRALIAN STOCKS GO NOWHERE: What you need to know

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Australian shares closed marginally higher.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,771.50 +10.80 +0.19%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,823.70 +10.73 +0.18%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7374 +0.0005 +0.07%

The local market tracked higher, driven by a rally in the big miners, for most of the session before losing ground to the close.

BHP added 2.6% to close at $26.02, Rio Tinto 3.8% to $62.28 and Fortescue Metals 4.5% to $6.23.

Westpac was down 0.7% to $33.46 but the Commonwealth added 0.2% to close at $85.00.

Village Roadshow closed down 2.9% to $4.65 people got trapped on a roller coaster at the Movie World theme park on the Gold Coast.

The top stories:

1. The CEO of Bellamy’s is gone, its profit guidance shaved. Laura McBain is leaving after sales of the company’s organic infant formula in China suddenly stalled and the share price more than halved. Also read: Here’s how Bellamy’s hopes to climb out of a deep hole. Its shares dropped 40% when coming out of a trading halt but closed the session at $5.35, down 19.9%.

2. Job vacancies hit a 5-year high. Vacancies increased by 2.3% to 181,000 in trend terms over the November quarter, leaving them 7.3% higher than the same period a year earlier. Also read: The largest employing sectors and where vacancies are growing.

3. BHP’s Andrew Mackenzie met with Donald Trump in New York overnight. He visited Trump Tower in New York to be introduced to the man who will take control of the world’s biggest economy later this month.

4. The Centrelink debacle. The minister thinks there’s nothing wrong with the debt letters. Also read: Vinnies wants the government to stop “intimidating” Centrelink customers to pay off its own deficit.

5. Three tweets that show the enormous growth in Sydney property prices. Maps of the median house price in Australia’s largest and most expensive capital city.

6. Telstra comes last again. Netflix has been keeping track of how fast its service runs on the major internet service providers.

7. The latest ANZ bank asset selloff. The bank has sold UDC Finance, a car loan finance company in New Zealand, for $NZ660 million ($A625 million).

8. Sussan Ley spent $13,000 to pilot private planes. Ley, who is a licensed commercial pilot, paid $7000 to hire a private plane from Canberra to Adelaide in May 2015 when she could have taken a commercial flight for around $190 in economy.

9. A surge in demand for some banking jobs in Australia. Tighter regulatory conditions are creating job opportunities. Also read: The hot spots for banking jobs in for 2017.

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