AUSTRALIAN STOCKS JUMP AGAIN: Here's what you need to know

Christmas lights in Sydney. James D. Morgan/Getty Images

Australian stocks closed higher.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX200: 6,071.80 +32.90 +0.54%
  • All Ordinaries: 6,071.80 +32.90 +0.54%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7671 +0.0009 +0.12%

The local market ripped ahead for the second day running, riding a wave a record highs on Wall Street, with commentators calling a Santa rally on the ASX.

The big miners led the pack higher, with BHP up 0.7% to $28.47 and Rio Tinto 1.2% to $72.33.

Helloworld Travel as up 3.3% to $4.95 after the travel agency franchise announced the acquisition of the Magellan Travel Group for $32.5 million.

Caltex was down 1.8% to $34.60 after the oil company released 2017 profit guidance of between $600 million and $620 million.

Japara Healthcare was down 5.6% to $2.00 after the aged care operator said earnings for the first half of 2018 are expected to be 15% to 17% below the same six months last year due to lower than expected occupancy levels

Top stories:

1. Profits slump. Retail Food Group, the company running some of Australia’s best known food brands, says a “challenging” retail market and media reports of alleged wage fraud are behind the fall. Retail Food Group shares fell 25% to close at $1.98.

2. Where to invest in 2018. This strategy has beaten the ASX by 10% over the last seven years.

3. Whither interest rates? The RBA says this is will need to happen before rates start to rise.

4. A third of NBN users would change back if they could. Research from WhistleOut, Australia’s phone and internet comparison site.

5. REFFIND buys into US blockchain leader Loyyal Corporation. The deal gives REFFIND exclusive performance-based licensing rights to Loyyal’s blockchain-based loyalty and rewards platform for select countries in the Asia Pacific region. REFFIND shares were down 12% to $0.029.

6. Fairfax Media has lost its NZME merger appeal. The High Court has rejected a bid by media companies Fairfax New Zealand and NZME to overturn the Commerce Commission’s block on their proposed merger.

7. Christian Porter is the new Attorney-General. George Brandis is replacing Alexander Downer as Australian High Commissioner in London.

8. Australian startups say raising funds is a little like dating. “You don’t get married on your first date … you don’t take investment on your first investor meeting.”

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