AUSTRALIAN STOCKS LIFT AGAIN: What you need to know

The

Australian stocks closed higher.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,372.30 +29.51 +0.55%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,434.80 +30.92 +0.57%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7373 +0.0010 +0.14%

The ASX 200 broke through 5400 points in an early resource-led rally before easing back again. The market closed at another year high, putting the index 1.4% ahead since the start of 2016.

BHP finished 4% ahead to close at $18.55 and Rio Tinto added 1.3% to $46.01.

The energy stocks made more modest gains today with Woodside Petroleum closing just 0.04% higher at $26.45.

The banks were mostly flat except for the ANZ which closed at $24.43, down 1%.

The top stories Wednesday:

1. First home buyers are fading. Loans issued to Australian first home buyers fell to 14.2% -– as a percentage of all owner-occupier lending –- in March, the lowest level seen since May 2004.

2. BHP’s plan. The world’s biggest mining company wants to grow the base value of the business by more than 70% even without a recovery in commodity prices to help turn around falling revenue and profitability.

3. Private equity and energy. Global private equity firm Lone Star Fund makes a $421 million takeover bid for junior energy producer AWE Limited. Its shares closed 16% higher at $0.715.

4. Profits from the housing boom. CSR posted a 13% rise in full year net profit to $142.3 million, its best result since 2010. Its shares added 5.5% to close at $3.65.

5. Taking over New Zealand. A dominant newspaper, radio and digital media business would be created in New Zealand by a merger between APN’s NZME and Fairfax’s New Zealand assets. Fairfax shares closed 4.4% higher at $0.86. APN was in a trading halt.

6. Originally from Sydney. Australian fintech startup BigCommerce has just completed a $41 million funding round in Silicon Valley, lead by GGV Ventures who has backed the likes of Square, Alibaba and Slack.

7. The cost of living. The changes in Australia over the last 100 years.

8. That $6000 toaster. A crowdfunding campaign to buy Duncan from Q&A a toaster has raised $20,000. Also read: A bitter truth about tax and society.

9. How to stop content piracy. The Australian content industry says more accessible content isn’t the answer.

10. Mexican food. Why the Guzman y Gomez founder changed the restaurant’s corn chip 18 times.

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