AUSTRALIAN STOCKS HOLD ON: What you need to know

Australia’s Lydia Lassila training prior to the FIS Freestyle World Cup in South Korea. Clive Mason/Getty Images

Australian shares closed marginally higher.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,664.60 +13.23 +0.23%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,717.70 +14.31 +0.25%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7624 -0.0021 -0.27%

The local market gained ground for the third session in a row, opening strongly but dipping during the day before rallying into the close.

Suncorp was up 0.9% to $13.15 after posting a 1.3% rise in half year profit to $537 million.

BHP dropped 1.3% to $25.42 and Rio Tinto, which last night posted a full year profit of $US4.6 billion, was down 0.6% to $65.25.

The banks were mixed with the Commonwealth down 0.5% to $81.93 and the NAB up 0.2% to $30.69.

The top stories:

1. The reason behind AMP’s tanking insurance business. AMP’s wealth protection business posted a loss of $415 million for 2016, a big change from the $185 million profit in 2015. AMP shares rose by almost 4% to $5.23.

2. Crown will build Australia’s tallest skyscraper in Melbourne. A massive 90-storey hotel and apartment tower on Melbourne’s Southbank.

3. LEGO could be the key to productive business meetings. Build models that represent ideas, concepts and experiences, and then share.

4. China comes after Bitcoin. The central bank says Bitcoin exchanges risk closure should they seriously violate regulations.

5. Telstra has overtaken Optus as Australia’s most complained-about telco. The telecommunications industry ombudsman has released the latest quarterly numbers for complaints.

6. Power cuts in South Australia during scorching temperatures. The order to cut power came amid blistering evening temperatures in Adelaide, which has been hit by another heatwave this week.

7. AGL is back in the black. The energy group posted an after tax profit of $325 million for the six months to December, compared to a full year loss of $408 million in 2016. AGL shares gained 4.3% to close at $24.00.

8. It’s getting harder to find cheap domestic flights in Australia. Take a look at the latest Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics domestic air fare report.

9. Gaining the loyalty of millennials. However, flexible working — including choosing when to start and finish work each day — looks like being the key.

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