AUSTRALIAN STOCKS HOLD GAINS: Here's what you need to know

A humpback whale off the Gold Coast. Jason McCawley/Getty Images

Australian stocks closed marginally higher.

The scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,537.50 +3.94 +0.07%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,612.60 +5.09 +0.09%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7526 +0.0056 +0.75%

The market coasted to a weak but positive close, the 12th gain on the ASX 200 in 14 days. The index is still above 5500 points and has gained 5.8% so far this month.

The Australian dollar, however, jumped to a session high of 0.7535 US.

On the ASX, the big banks and the major miners all added weight. The ANZ closed 0.8% higher at $25.66 and Rio Tinto 1.1% to $48.68.

Energy companies lost ground with Woodside Petroleum down 0.8% to $27.12 and Santos 2.3% to $4.56.

The top stories Tuesday:

1. More pain ahead for Woolworths. The supermarket group, which has posted $4.2 billion in impairments in the last two months, still has a long way to go before it starts to see significant sales growth.

2. CPI numbers Wednesday. Another weak Australian CPI reading could see the RBA rapidly adopt a more aggressive stance.

3. Nine Entertainment and Seven group. Short-sellers are targeting Australia’s TV companies.

4. The latest ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index. Australians are feeling more confident about the economy but not their personal finances.

5. Selling in China via mobile phone. eCargo announced a joint venture to build a mobile shopping platform to sell more luxury and premium brands directly to consumers in China. eCargo shares gained more than 18% to close at $0.355.

6. China coal consumption slides. China has likely already hit peak coal, the point at which consumption starts to decline, as the world’s economic powerhouse switches to renewable energy.

7. Getting out of oil and gas and into wave energy. Stephen Rogers, an oil and gas industry senior executive, has been appointed managing director of ASX-listed Protean Wave Energy.

8. The white whale. Migaloo, a humpback whale named for the Aboriginal word meaning whitefella, is back off the east coast of Australia on his annual migration.

9. Abuse of children. The truly shocking thing about the NT’s juvenile detention abuse is how many times the alarm was raised and ignored.

10. Pokémon Go. Someone dubbed David Attenborough’s commentary over Pokémon Go. Also read: Nintendo shares fall again.

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