AUSTRALIAN STOCKS GO NOWHERE: What you need to know

Australia’s team at the Synchronised Swimming Teams Technical Routine at the Rio Olympic Games. Amin Mohammad Jamali/Getty Images

Australian stocks closed the session ahead but ended the week slightly negative.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,526.70 +18.88 +0.34%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,625.40 +18.12 +0.32%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7645 -0.0041 -0.53%

The local market closed just 7 points points below last week.

Today the big miners kept the market above water. BHP closed 2% higher at $21.29 and Rio Tinto 0.9% to $49.79.

Woodside Petroleum added 1.2% to close at $28.90 after posting a half-year profit of $US340 million, about half what it was the year before due to lower prices.

Other energy stocks lost ground. Santos closed down 2% to $4.85 and Origin Energy 3.6% to $5.56.

Property group Lend Lease was 1.5% higher at $14.38 after posting a 13% rise in profit to $698.2 million.

The top stories:

1. Warren Buffett magic. IAG’s deal with Berkshire Hathaway is helping the group to ride out the volatility hitting the insurance industry. Its shares closed 05% lower at $5.82.

2. Moody’s puts the banks on notice. The ratings agency changes the outlook to negative from stable.

3. Jobs growth overstated. Here’s why Australian pay rises will stay low.

4. Profits up but outlook soft. Medibank kept a lid on health insurance payouts to deliver a 46.4% rise in full year profit to $417.6 million, just below market expectations. Its shares closed 4.6% lower at $2.84.

5. The China factor. Bellamy’s, the Tasmanian company making organic baby formula so loved in China, posted its annual results with revenue and profits driving a dividend payout three times higher than in 2015s. Its shares closed at $13.50, up 0.9%.

6. The banks are still in the frame. Malcolm Turnbull just signalled there’s likely to be some sort of banking complaint tribunal.

7. Keeping the states under control. There needs to be a better way to share Australia’s GST revenue.

8. The good drop. This 1997 ad shows how Penfold’s red wines have gone up in price over the last two decades.

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