AUSTRALIAN STOCKS GO NOWHERE: What you need to know

Barack Obama and Malcolm Turnbull at the APEC meeting in Lima, Peru. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Australian stocks closed marginally lower.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,351.30 -8.12 -0.15%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,419.30 -8.23 -0.15%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7326 -0.0007 -0.10%

The local market slipped at the open but regained lost ground toward the close. Investors followed Wall Street which was dragged down by the healthcare sector. The S&P500 clsoed down 0.2%.,

On the ASX, the major banks were mixed with Westpac up 0.5% to $31.09 and ANZ down 0.4% to $27.85.

Pure-play iron ore miner Fortescue Metals was down 1%, following weaker prices, but BHP was up 0.75% to $24.28.

Salmat shares closed 11.8% higher at $0.52 after a positive sales report to the AGM on sales.

The top stories:

1. Boral makes a $3.5 billion bet on the US economy. The 70-year-old Australian company is expanding its business and exposure in the US by buying American building services group Headwaters for $US2.6 billion ($A3.5 billion).

2. The commodity rally won’t save Australia’s budget. Slow wages growth is making it harder to rein in Australia’s budget deficit, according to analysis by Deloitte Access Economics in its latest Budget Monitor.

3. A “highly illiquid” and “highly speculative” investment. Micro investing app Acorns is tapping its own users in Australia for up to $6 million.

4. US authorities block plans by Qantas to increase flights to America. A proposal by Qantas to expand the number of seats it flies with American Airlines to the US have been knocked back on competition concerns.

5. Australia’s most expensive apartments. The penthouse in a landmark residential redevelopment of the former Coca-Cola Amatil building overlooking Sydney’s Circular Quay sold for a record $27 million on the weekend.

6. The housing market going into summer. Australian capital city auction clearance rates held above 70% last week, continuing the pattern seen throughout the Spring selling season.

7. Myer short sellers on the hop. The view of Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney.

8. Spending up towards Christmas. The Commonwealth Bank says economy-wide spending through its vast network of merchant facilities rose 0.4% in trend terms during October.

9. Don’t panic over a Trump America. It won’t have the big impact on Australia some news headlines suggest, according to the latest analysis by Deloitte Access Economics.

10. Are age-based tax breaks fair? The Grattan Institute say tax breaks for seniors should be wound back. We can’t afford them anymore.

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