AUSTRALIAN STOCKS GO NOWHERE: Here's what you need to know

Greg Du Toit / Barcroft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Australian stocks closed marginally higher.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX 200: 5,745.50 +8.34 (+0.15%)
  • All Ordinaries: 5,801.70 +9.01 (+0.16%)
  • AUD/USD: 0.7875 -0.0029 (-0.37%)

The local market just kept its head above water as a string of annual profits results were released.

The big miners added weight, with Rio Tinto 2.9% higher at $66.85 and BHP up 2% to $26.56.

South32, reporting an annual profit of $US1.23 billion, closed up by 1.7% at $2.94.

The ASX200 financials index dipped by 0.2% with each of the major banks lower, led by Commonwealth Bank which fell by 1.13%.

Village Roadshow dropped 1.5% to $3.80 after posting a loss of $66.7 million.

Despite recording a fall in annual profits, shares in Flight Centre rocketed up by almost 11% as the company indicated fewer discounts in the market for international airfares.

When airlines offer discounts it hurts Flight Centre’s earnings, which takes a percentage from each transaction.

The Australian dollar fluctuated just above US79 cents in Asian trade, but dipped lower after UK markets opened.

Top stories:

1. Australians aren’t buying the story of the economic recovery. And it’s a major problem.

2. Flight Centre shares went nuts. The travel agent posted its annual results showing a 5.6% fall in net profit to $230.77 million but the outlook is healthy.

3. Lachlan Murdoch and Bruce Gordon have cleared another hurdle in their pursuit of Ten. The Competition watchdog has decided it won’t oppose the acquisition.

4. McGrath’s home listings shrink and sales staff depart. Full year profit at the ASX-listed real estate agency fell 42% to $4.871 million.

5. Nine Network posts a loss. Most of it was down to writedowns on the value of its television licence and costs associated with getting out of expensive content deals.

6. The 10 highest paid CEOS. The median realised pay, including equity awards and bonuses, for ASX100 CEOs was $3.78 million. Also read: Their Pay is still 90 times more than the average.

7. Australia’s best restaurant is run by a Scottish chef. Adelaide’s Orana has been named restaurant of the year in the Australian Gourmet Traveller restaurant awards.

8. Where interest rates could go next. ANZ economists Giulia Lavinia Specchia and David Plank have constructed a forecasting tool.

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