AUSTRALIAN STOCKS GO NOWHERE: What you need to know

Sydney’s Hyde Park. William West/AFP/Getty Images

Australian stocks closed marginally lower.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX 200: 5,774.60 -4.31 -0.07%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,819.50 -1.01 -0.02%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7705 -0.0026 -0.34%

The local market coasted to a weak close, adding to Monday’s 0.36% slide.

The big miners weighed, with Rio Tinto down 1.2% to $61.60 and BHP 0.9% to $24.64.

The major banks were mixed with Westpac down 0.6% to $34.32 and the ANZ up 0.5% to $31.57.

Kathmandu posted a 6.4% increase in after tax profit to $NZ10 million. Its shares added just 0.2% to close at $1.78.

The top stories:

1. Solomon Lew defies the retail slump. His Premier Investments posted record half year sales of $588.6 million, up 7.1%. The shares closed at $13.79, up 0.5%.

2. Harvey Norman gets a “please explain”. Its shares picked up following a sharp fall on Monday. The shares added 3% to close at $4.50.

3. Infant formula sales to China appear to be back on track. Share prices of infant formula companies surged on reports that China has delayed stricter cross-border e-commerce regulations.

4. From mining services to laundry services. Downer EDI launched a takeover which values Spotless Group at $1.272 billion. Spotless shares rose 49% to close at $1.08.

5. Winning back public trust. Here’s what government departments such as Centrelink need to do.

6. H2’s new fintechs. Seven startups have joined the latest intake into the H2 Ventures accelerator in Sydney.

7. The average price of a house is now $656,800. Australia’s 9.8 million residential dwellings were worth a collective $6.439 trillion at the end of the December quarter.

8. TPG Telecom beats expectations. Growth in broadband has pushed billionaire David Teoh’s TPG Telecom to a 11% rise in half-year net profit after tax to $224 million. Its shares added 3.4% to close at $6.98.

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