AUSTRALIAN STOCKS IN SURPRISE RALLY: Here's what you need to know

Tom Cahill poses with fans during celebrations in Sydney fter the Socceroos won the 2015 Asian Cup. Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

The Australian market hit its eighth positive trading day in a row with local investors betting the RBA will cut interest rates tomorrow.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,625.30 +36.98 (+0.66%)
  • All Ordinaries: 5,586.50 +34.92 (+0.63%)
  • AUD/USD: 0.7784 +0.0018 (+0.23%)

The local market was firmer despite a weaker Wall Street where the S&P 500 fell 1.3% on Friday.

The major banks were all stronger, led by Westpac up 1.13% to $34.83. BHP was up 1.16% to $29.60 and Woodside Petroleum firmer by almost 1% to $34.60.

Some of the rises might be attributable to PMI data, with the Australian number showing local manufacturing stabilising although still in contraction, while the China PMI at 49.7 was up fractionally from last month’s reading of 49.6.

The top stories on Monday:

1. Ross Smith, the CEO of PhytoTech Medical, the first ASX listed medical marijuana company, has suddenly resigned.

2. Shares in Kathmandu fell more than one-quarter after the adventure clothing retailer posted below expectations sales for the first half of the financial year. The shares closed down 27% to $1.35.

3. Weak retail. Sales have eased for electronics retailer JB Hi-Fi with net profit for the six months to the end of December down 1.9% to $88.5 million. Its shares closed up 1.79% to $17.05.

4. The new equities boss at Perpetual says he likes ‘getting in your face’ and barging into offices.

5. Oil prices have been falling again following their big rally last week.

6. The Australian manufacturing PMI rose 2.1 points in January, to 49.0.

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