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

Costa Barbarouses of Melbourne Victory attempts to block a pass by Marc Warren of Perth Glory during the round five A-League match. Paul Kane/Getty Images

Australian stocks gained ground for the second day in a row.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,102.00 +73.55 +1.46%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,150.60 +71.86 +1.41%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7179 -0.0051 -0.71%

Investors followed Wall Street where stocks rallied after suggestions further interest rate rises will be gradual. The S&P 500 closed 1.5% higher.

On the local market, all ten sectors were stronger, adding to yesterday’s 2.42% rise. However, the ASX 200 is still 6.1% down this calendar year.

Today the major banks and financial stocks led the pack. Westpac was up 2.29% to $32.18.

BHP was slightly weaker at $17.02, down 0.9%, but Rio Tinto was up 0.79% to $43.36.

The top stories Thursday:

1. Dollar blues. The Australian dollar is getting smoked in Asian trade.

2. Private casino talk. James Packer’s private company says it doesn’t currently have a proposal to buy out the rest of Crown Resorts it doesn’t own. Crown closed 1.6% lower at $11.58.

3. Better profit from the bowser. Caltex Australia’s forecast a record 2015 full year profit of between $615 million and $635 million. Caltex was up almost 6% to $36.50.

4. UK law underperforms. Slater and Gordon now says it won’t be hitting its profit guidance because its troubled UK business is performing below expectations. Its shares closed down more than 17% to $0.89.

5. Who pays tax? About one-third of Australia’s biggest companies, and foreign entities operating here, actually paid no tax last financial year.

6. Uber victory. The NSW government is giving the taxi industry $250 million in compensation after legalising Uber.

7. Another way to look at it. “It is what it is”: Scott Morrison is all Zen about Australia’s debt.

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