The first day of competition during the 2016 Sydney International Rowing Regatta. Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

The Australian market closed higher.

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,185.50 +19.11 +0.37%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,242.40 +17.57 +0.34%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7589 +0.0025 +0.33%

Local stocks lost momentum near the close but still ended ahead. The ASX 200 broke through 5200, held higher by the major banks and Telstra, before dipping below again.

The ASX 200 is 6.2% higher so far this month, narrowing losses from the start of 2016 to 2%.

The major banks ended higher, led by the NAB, up 1,.4% to $28.31. BHP was up 0.7% and Santos 3.3% to $3.99.

The top stories Monday:

1. No joint venture. Telstra and beer company San Miguel Corporation have been unable to reach a commercial agreement to build a new mobile network in the Philippines. Telstra closed 2.3% higher at $5.280.

2. Next step? Flight Centre has taken its first step into Continental Europe by acquiring Business Travel Development, a small privately-owned corporate travel agency in the Netherlands. Flight Centre shares added 2.2% to close at $44.84.

3. More environmentally friendly fuel. Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia are investigating producing aviation biofuel, created from waste plant material.

4. Gold. Shares in Independence Group, which has three mines in Western Australia, jumped higher, closing 9.5% higher at $3.230.

5. A lot of sellers. There are now more homes for sale in Australia than at any point in the past 3 years.

6. A liquid business. One of Sydney’s most famous watering holes, Cargo Bar, is up for saleOne of Sydney’s most famous watering holes, Cargo Bar, is up for sale.

7. An Australian CEO tells. “Galling questions I still get asked by male business leaders.”

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