AUSTRALIAN STOCKS LIFT AGAIN: What you need to know

Grant Hackett in the 400 Freestyle at the Australian Swimming Championships in Adelaide. Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Australian stocks closed marginally higher.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 4,964.10 +18.19 +0.37%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,042.30 +17.73 +0.35%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7633 +0.0036 +0.47%

The local market rose for the second day in the row, adding to yesterday’s 0.44% jump, but the ASX 200 was still stuck under the 5000 point level on the index.

The miners ran higher, after an overnight lift in the price of oil, with BHP up 1.5% to $16.39, Rio Tinto 1.4% to $42.97 and Woodside Petroleum 1.8% to 425.07.

The major banks were mostly flat. Westpac was up 0.6% to $28.86 but the Commonwealth was down 0.2% to $70.99.

The top stories Thursday:

1. The fall of a steelmaker. Arrium has gone into voluntary administration, a victim of falling iron ore prices and a steel glut caused by overproduction in China.

2. Profits rise and interest rates follow. The Bank of Queensland, which now has more than half its business outside its state of origin, posted a 7% rise in first half cash earnings to $179 million on a strong home lending business. Its shares closed down 1.2% to $11.45.

3. Virgin skies. Singapore Airlines has increased its holding in Virgin Australia to 23.11% from 22.91%. Virgin’s shares closed more than 4% higher at $0.37.

4. How’s the credit card balance? Australians felt a lot more confident in early 2016, with anxiety levels falling to a multi-year low according to new research released today.

5. Contraction. Australia’s construction sector is in a spot of bother.

6. NBN blues. Waleed Aly’s NBN takedown missed these critical points.

7. Creating Instagram’s new feed. Sydney-based language and data services company Appen is one of the most important Australian tech companies you’ve never heard about.

8. Renewable energy. Here’s why AGL wants to help Tesla sell more cars in Australia.

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