AUSTRALIAN STOCKS GRIND HIGHER: Here's what you need to know

Wallabies players contest a tug of war during a training session in Sydney. Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

Australian stocks stayed above water for the fourth day in a row.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,263.60 +30.28 +0.58%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,274.70 +32.06 +0.61%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7166 0.0000 0.00%

The local market has gained 0.94% this week playing catch up after closing down 4.09% on Monday in a fall sparked by global markets chaos on the back of fears over China’s economy.

On Wall St overnight, the S&P 500 closed 2.4% higher.

In Australia, the local market was held up by a rally in mining and energy stocks following a surge in commodities prices and a 10% rise in oil. Trading was balanced with five sectors down and five up.

Woodside Petroleum was 1.8% higher at $32.07, Santos 5.58% to $5.30 and LNG 12% to $2.89.

The big miners soared. BHP was up 5.94% to $25.49 and Rio Tinto 4.69% to $51.10. Among iron ore miners, Fortescue was up almost 6.15% to $1.90 and Atlas Iron 23% to $0.026.

All the major banks were slightly weaker led by Westpac, down 0.19% to $31.58.

The top stories for Friday:

1. The job ahead for the new chairman of Woolworths. Gordon Cairns needs to find someone to run the company and restore the fortunes of the once great supermarket. Details on today’s result. The shares closed up 1.29% to $27.40.

2. A boost to equities. China wants its pension funds to buy stocks as soon as possible. And the market is rallying again.

3. Slater and Gordon shares soared after the law firm announced a 7.7% rise in full year profit to $70.7 million. Its shares closed up 5.76% to $3.12.

4. Oil soars. Crude prices surged higher yet again on the back of improved investor sentiment.

5. Australian Post, facing a massive decline in people using its services, wants to charge $1 to send a letter.

6. Australia’s most famous beef producer has been given a reprieve by the Victorian government in his fight to farm.

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