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

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Australian stocks closed higher.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX200: 6,056.90 +14.70 +0.24%
  • All Ordinaries: 6,159.30 +13.20 +0.21%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7847 -0.0007 -0.09%

The major banks and the big miners led the local market higher for the second session in a row this week, adding to the 1.6% rise in the ASX200 last week.

The ANZ was 0.8% higher at $29.09 and Rio Tinto 1.2% to $81.61.

Australia’s largest grower of fruit and vegetables, Costa, was 10.5% higher at $6.82 after saying it now expects it expects profits to grow 25% over the full year. The company lifted half year profit 14.7% to $28.61 million.

Caltex was up 3.9% to $36.42 after its replacement Cost Operating Profit rose 19% to $621 million for the full year to December.

Mineral sands miner Iluka was 3.2% higher at $10.55 after reporting a 140% increase to $361 million in underlying EBITDA for the full year.

Top stories:

1. Amazon turns up the heat on Australian retail. Local businesses selling through Amazon Marketplace will now be able to have their goods stored and delivered by the giant US online retailer through the Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) program.

2. Longtable posts a loss. But it now has two premium product lines. But its shares fell 11.6% to $0.038.

3. Freelancer post a loss. But growth has returned for the Australian labour exchange marketplace. Its shares added 6.5% to clsoe at $0.405.

4. Cabcharge has gone into the red. A loss of $5.1 million for the first half after an impairment charge of $12.3 million on taxi licence plates. Its shares closed at $1.85, up 1.9%.

5. Is the RBA’s optimism creating a problem? Credit Suisse’s Australian economics team thinks the RBA has not just been “optimistic” but “overoptimistic”.

6. Telstra will roll out it 5G network in 2019. Here’s how it plans to do it.

7. The brutality of Australian politics. The outing of the woman behind harassment claims against Barnaby Joyce.

8. A $4000, 40-year-old single barrel whisky in Australia. Glenfiddich, the family-owned Speyside distillery run by the fifth generation of William Grant & Sons, has put together something truly special if money is no object.

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