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

Australia’s Samantha Stosur during the Women’s Singles second round match against Shuai Zhang of China at the French Open in Paris. Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images

Australian stock closer higher.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,388.10 +15.59 +0.29%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,451.90 +15.12 +0.28%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7201 +0.0003 +0.04%

The local market added weight but just couldn’t quite break through the ASX 5400 mark, even with the help of strong energy stocks.

A rise in oil prices pushed Woodside Petroleum 2% higher to $27.71 and Santos, which announced more gas production coming online at the GLNG project on Curtis Island in Queensland, was up 4.9% to $4.49

Among the big miners, BHP was up 2.7% to $19.41.

WorleyParsons closed 4.6% higher at $6.37 after the consulting engineer told investors it planned another $180 million in cuts.

Wesfarmers dropped 3.5% to $40.40 a day after announcing writedowns and restructuring costs of up to $2.3 billion.

Gaming machine company Aristocrat was steady at $12.45, up just 0.16%, despite more than doubling half year profit to $159.1 million.

The top stories Thursday:

1. Capital spending slips again. Private capital expenditure (CAPEX) fell 5.2% to $30.613 billion in the March quarter.

2. The next pay rise may be a small one. Without productivity gains, Australia may be about to experience its worst decade of national income growth in almost 50 years.

3. Competition problems. The $9 billion takeover and carve-up of Asciano has raised fears that competition could be restricted for container logistics providers at ports.

4. Mark Textor’s Campaign Dairy. Foie gras politics and the force-feeding of polls to the public.

5. Holding land trumps digging it. The property boom and the fall of mining has shaken up the pecking order among Australia’s richest people. Also read: Here’s what your average Australian billionaire looks like.

6. Where to next? There’s been a shift in the way global markets are behaving.

7. Australia’s next $1 billion tech giant. Campaign Monitor, an email marketing company.

8. The signs your boss secretly hates you. They can be subtle but easy to spot if you know what to look for.

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