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AUSTRALIAN STOCKS IN THE BEST MONTH OF THE YEAR: Here's what you need to know

Foci by Karl Meyer at Sculpture By The Sea in Sydney. James D. Morgan/Getty Images

Australian stocks closed the session slightly weaker but ended the month well ahead.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX200: 5,909.00 -10.08 -0.17%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,976.40 -7.32 -0.12%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7676 -0.0012 -0.16%

The ASX200 added 4% in October, now the best performing month of the calendar year.

Over the month, the major banks and the big miners did well. Materials were up 4.4% and the financials 3.2%.

However, today they both slipped. Westpac was down almost 1% to $32.955 and Rio Tinto 0.7% to $69.50.

Among energy companies, Woodside Petroleum was up 1.8% to $30.80.

Inghams fell 3.8% to close at $3.55 despite the poultry farmer telling its AGM that its strategy remains on track.

Top stories:

1. Bendigo Bank issues a profit warning. The regional bank said it has had to “slam on the brakes” in investor and interest-only lending. Its shares slipped 4.7% to close at $11.38.

2. Woolworths smashes Coles in supermarket sales growth. Australian food sales at Woolworths were up 4.7% to $9.63 billion in the first quarter of 2018. Like for like sales were 4.9%. Woolworths closed at $25.88, up 2.3%

3. BrainChip just raised $21.5 million. The company is developing technology capable of stock market forecasting, speech and image recognition and running autonomous vehicles. BrainChip shares fell 4% to close at $0.235.

4. The big transport infrastructure projects are coming. The September quarter Deloitte Access Economics Investment Monitor shows the outlook for business investment in Australia healthier than it’s been for some time.

5. Creating their own mobile payment app. Westpac, CBA and NAB are joining forces.

6. RAMS Home Loans founder John Kinghorn has been charged. It’s all to do with allegations of avoiding taxes of more than $30 million.

7. Australians remain reluctant to borrow. Australian private sector credit slowed sharply in September, expanding at the weakest pace since January this year.

8. Australia’s economy is underachieving. As part of its World Economic Outlook report for October 2017, the IMF summarised how the world’s biggest economies are performing relative to their potential.

9. REVIEW. Doing the AICD’s company director course.

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