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

Daria Gavrilova of Australia wins her second round match against Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic at the Australian Open in Melbourne. Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Australian stocks closed higher.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 4,864.00 +22.47 +0.46%
  • All Ordinaries: 4,917.60 +20.69 +0.42%
  • AUD/USD: 0.6899 -0.0008 -0.11%

The local market gained ground for only the third session this year. Stocks surged on opening but later dipped. Nine out of ten sectors closed higher.

The market is still down 8.1% since the start of 2015.

Today the major banks were mixed, either flat or down. The Commonwealth lost 1% to close at $76.81, the ANZ was down 1.66% to $23.11 and the NAB was up 0.3% to $26.82.

Among the miners, BHP was flat at $14.20 but Rio Tinto added 1.6% to $38.36. Santos was up 3.2% to $2.56.

The top stories Thursday:

1. Writedowns on the way. Woodside Petroleum’s sales revenue, and the value of its assets, have been falling as fast as the price of oil. Woodside shares closed down 1.5% to $25.00.

2. Origin surges. The energy company made a statement clarifying its financing. It has more than $6.5 billion of undrawn debt facilities and cash. Its shares closed up 6.6% to $$3.69.

3. The housing boom? Australia’s housing bust is coming, and it could have a big impact on the jobs market. Also read: New home sales are falling, just as construction hits record highs

4. Withdrawing from the region. The British investment bank Barclays is reportedly about to exit its Australian business.

5. Travel blues. Global air travel has suddenly stopped growing, and it could be a worrying sign.

6. You want mobile with that? Telstra Ventures has made a strategic investment in Instart Logic, an application delivery service based in Palo Alto, California.

7. Bank of America Merrill Lynch. 10 key themes for the Australian economy in 2016.

8. Avoid these like the plague. The 10 worst buzzwords in Australian Linkedin profiles.

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