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

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Australian stocks closed marginally higher.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX 200: 5,890.50 +0.89 +0.02%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,954.80 -3.28 -0.06%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7844 -0.0001 -0.01%

The local market gained ground for the sixth session in a row, with the ASX200 hovering just below the key 5900 point mark.

The miners lost ground, with BHP 0.5% lower at $27.17 and Rio Tinto 0.7% to $70.92.

Logistics group Brambles was up 0.7% to $9.33 after posting a positive quarterly sales update.

Fund manager IOOF was up 5.1% to $11.84 after completing a $461 million equity raising to partially fund the purchase of ANZ Bank’s wealth management business.

Afterpay Touch jumped 10.2% to $5.18 after posting a quarterly report showing strong sales growth.

Freelancer was up 10.1% to $0.49 after releasing its quarterly report showing cash receipts of $12.5 million and break-even operating cashflow.

Top stories:

1. Rio Tinto and its former CEO Tom Albanese have been charged with fraud. The US Securities and Exchange Commission alleges the executives inflated the value of coal assets that were acquired for $US3.7 billion and sold a few years later for $US50 million.

2. Allegations of tampering poker machines at Crown. Independent MP Andrew Wilkie tabled in parliament allegations by former Crown employees that machines were tampered with to allow illegal continuous play. Crown shares fell 4% to $11.28.

3. Housing affordability just got worse. Analysis from Moody’s Investors Service.

4. The clothing retail challenge. Specialty Fashion Group, the owner of Katies, downgraded its profit guidance. Its shares fell 14% to $0.215.

5. ANZ Bank, via Apple Pay, just became the first in Australia to offer contactless EFTPOS. Until now, Australians, even with debit cards linked to savings or cheque accounts, went through the Visa or Mastercard credit card system if they chose to tap at the checkout, attracting higher fees.

6. Fund managers think the outlook for financial markets is officially awesome. The latest Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) Fund Manager Survey for October

7. The number of Australians behind on their mortgage repayments is falling nationally. According to ratings agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P), the percentage of delinquent housing loans contained in Australian prime residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) fell to just 1.10% in August from 1.17% in July.

8. The top 10 performing Australian IPOs so far in 2017. Australian IPOs have returned an average 25.9% for the nine months to September, according to the OnMarket 2017 third quarter report.

9. It’s official. Australians are really unhappy with the NBN.

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