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

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The ASX200 rose for the third time in four days, outperforming most Asian markets on a relatively calm day of trade.

Here’s today’s scoreboard:

ASX 200: 5,772.10 +33.99 (+0.59%)
All Ordinaries: 5,840.80 +33.72 (+0.58%)
AUD/USD: 0.7786 +0.0009 (+0.12%)

It was another good session for the local index, which has now climbed to the top end of the trading range it’s been stuck in since May.

Three of the four major banks climbed while CBA traded flat. The big miners were mixed, with BHP up by 0.4% while Rio dipped by 0.37%. That follows news earlier this week that short positions in Rio stock are at an almost four-year high.

Fortescue fell by 1.4% after further weakness in spot iron ore prices overnight.

Consumer discretionary stocks had another good session, perhaps boosted by this morning’s consumer confidence survey which surprised to the upside. Most of the major retailers were up, led by JB Hi-Fi which gained 1.09%. Flight Centre and Domino’s Pizza both finished more than 3% higher.

And it was a huge session for Bellamy’s — the maker of infant baby formula which exports to China — despite agreeing to pay a $66,000 fine for failure to warn the ASX ahead of an earnings downgrade last year.

The stock has been on a roller coaster this year while at the mercy of Chinese authorities, but it gained by 6% this morning before surging into the close to finish 13% higher on the day.

Top stories:

1. Hear from the best: Get career inspiration from 21 of the most successful women in Australian tech.

2. Chinese investors aren’t going anywhere:
Despites report that a crackdown on capital outflows by Chinese authorities is reducing demand for Australian housing,

3. Here’s how much your bank will lend: This chart reveals some interesting variations in the average loan sized issued by each major Australian bank, based on the measurement of loan-to-income.

4. A history of recessions
: This interesting chart from HSBC shows the economic growth path of all OECD countries going back to 1960.

5. Internet of things: Vodafone has got the jump on its rivals in establishing a Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT), aimed at low-bandwidth products which use less power. The new technology will allows some devices to run on batteries for 10 years or more on a single charge.

6. Immigration boom: Latest data from the ABS puts Australia’s high rate of immigration into context, with almost one third of the population born overseas.

7. Consumers showing signs of life
: This morning’s monthly consumer confidence survey from Westpac had some long-awaited good news, with results showing that Australian consumers are the most optimistic they’ve been in 12 months.

8. 20 ideas in 10 minutes: Here’s a handy guide on how to brainstorm — specifically, how to come up with 20 business ideas in 10 minutes based on four key questions.

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