AUSTRALIAN STOCKS HIT BY A TRUMP SLUMP: Here's what you need to know

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Australian stocks fell hard, flattened by a global rout.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX 200: 5,738.30 -47.73 -0.82%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,775.50 -45.70 -0.79%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7455 +0.0025 +0.34%

The local market recorded its second day of losses, following Wall Street where the S&P500 fell 1.8% overnight on fears that political uncertainty could delay the economic plans of president Donald Trump.

The ASX200 was down around 1.2% for most of the day but the losses narrowed into the close.

Westpac lost 3.1% to $31.16 as the bank went ex-dividend. The other major banks also shed weight with the NAB down 0.9% to $30.55 and the Commonwealth 0.2% to $80.81.

Macquarie dropped 1.2% to $87.72.

Building products group James Hardie fell 7.8% to $19.90 despite posting a 13% rise in full year profit to $US276.5 million, up 13%.

Sirtex dropped 28% to $10.75 after research showed no significant difference between its cancer treating spheres and chemotherapy.

The top stories:

1. The $165 million tax fraud case. A senior tax official and his son and daughter have been swept up in what police allege is an unprecedented tax fraud by a crime syndicate. Also read: What we know about Plutus Payroll, the company allegedly at the centre the case.

2. Australian jobs data beats again. Australian employment grew for a seventh consecutive month in April, recording another hefty increase in the process. Also read: Here’s what economists are saying.

3. A second offer for Fairfax. The latest bid is an all cash play from San Francisco-based private equity group Hellman and Friedman valuing the media group at $2.87 billion. Fairfax shares gained 6.9% to close at $1.242.

4. The mining sector is hiring again. According to data from jobs website SEEK, mining jobs have grown substantially over the past three months compared to the same period in 2016, jumping by 70%.

5. Doing chores instead of paying rent. A new Australian startup that launched this week lets people to sign up for free mid- to long-term accommodation by offering their labour to help out around the house.

6. The top 25 Australian companies to work for in 2017. The most attractive companies include some of the giant financial services groups, professional services and some of the nation’s largest private employers.

7. The losses keep piling up at Virgin Australia. Virgin Australia just recorded its weakest quarter on record, dragged down by soft demand for domestic airline seats combined with the transport chaos caused by Cyclone Debbie.

8. The recipe for the perfect Sangria. According to a restaurant in Barcelona famous for its cocktails.

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