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Australian stocks have ended the day flat after a mixed days trade.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5106.7 +4.7 +0.1%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,156.5 +5.9 +0.1%
  • AUD/USD: 0.713565 -0.004335 -0.60%

The ASX ended the day flat after futures pointed to a down day on the back of a weak close to the US stock markets overnight. Materials and energy stocks had a bad day but rallies in consumer staples and discretionary lead the market higher.

The top stories for Friday:

1. Stocks in Toyko are under pressure after the Bank of Japan surprised markets with an expansion of its quantitative easing program.

2. Australian shoppers are spending big this Christmas. Data from the Commonwealth Bank shows a 29% increase in daily credit and debit card transactions over the same time last year.

3. The court case against the Australian government brought by Philip Morris has been dismissed. The tobacco giant had claimed plain packaging laws breached an agreement in a 1993 treaty between Hong Kong and Australia.

4. The Australian stock market may be down but self managed super funds are still buying. “Selfies” already own about 16% of the Australian stock market, but they are still in a buying mood.

5. Just because iron ore is sinking doesn’t mean the rest of the economy will follow. Services now dominate iron ore in terms of net exports.

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