AUSTRALIAN STOCKS GO NOWHERE: What you need to know

The Beer Can Regatta in Darwin. Terry Trewin/Getty Images

Australian stocks closed marginally higher.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,478.30 +9.08 +0.17%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,573.50 +11.99 +0.22%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7561 -0.0007 -0.09%

The local market picked up a little weight, cutting back some of Monday’s 0.84% fall.

Earlier rises, on the back of a rally on Wall Street where the S&P 500 closed 0.5% higher, faded toward the end of the session.

The banks were mixed with Westpac down 0.6% to $29.65 and the Commonwealth up 0.3% to $72.90.

Among the miners, Fortescue Metals added 3.9% to close at $5.08. BHP was up 0.8% to $21.11.

Ramsay Health was up 7.7% to $81.42 after posting a 16.8% rise in profit to $450.3 million.

The top stories:

1. The fall of SurfStitch. SurfStitch shares were almost cut in half after the online retailer posted a full year loss of $155.35 million. Also read: the loss was driven by a combination of bad deals and bad luck. Its shares lost 54% to close at $0.105.

2. Apartment approvals surge. Australian building approvals jumped by the most in nearly three years in July, snapping the downward trend seen in previous months.

3. Rivers of gold. Resolute Mining, an ASX-listed junior with nine gold mines across Australia and African, has decided to offer its dividends in gold. Its shares closed 6.8% higher at $1.88.

4. No fracking in Victoria. The state announced a permanent ban on the exploration and development of fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, and coal seam gas.

5. Writedowns at Slater and Gordon. The world’s first stock exchange-listed law firm today officially posted a widely expected annual loss of $1.017 billion as it rebuilds its business. Its shares closed 15% lower at $0.47.

6. A gloomier view. Australian consumer confidence tumbled last week, a disappointing outcome after surging to a fresh three-year high in mid-August.

7. A move for Google Australia. The massive heritage-listed White Bay power station beside Sydney Harbour, 2km from the CBD, is likely to become Google’s new Australian headquarters.

8. Naughty but true. The 5 rudest Australian place names, according to the guy who collated this hilarious NSFW map.

9. Create an app. Australian twin sisters Colina and Hripsime Demirdjian decided to take a break from studying law at Sydney’s Macquarie University to create their first app, Moji Edit.

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