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

File photo. Australia’s Naoya Tsukahara on the High Bar. Ian MacNicol/Getty images

Australian stocks closed higher.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX 200: 5,738.10 +13.53 +0.24%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,772.50 +11.21 +0.19%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7400 -0.0030 -0.40%

The local market crawled into positive territory on the first day of winter.

The banks and the miners lost ground. The NAB was down 0.6% to $29.92 and Rio Tinto 1.6% to $61.75.

Stronger than expected retail trade numbers pushed up retailers with Myer adding 2.3% to $0.885, Solomon Lew’s Premier Investments 2.98% to $12.78 and Super Retail 1.5% to $7.82.

Shares in XTEK Limited, a tiny ASX-listed company in the homeland security market, jumped 17.5% to $0.47 after announcing the sale of drones to the Australian Defence Force.

The top stories:

1. Australian retail sales bounce back. Retail sales in Australia grew by 1.0% in April in seasonally-adjusted terms, coming in well above forecast growth of 0.3%.

2. THE AMAZON EFFECT: Morgan Stanley on the ‘profound impact’ the Jeff Bezos juggernaut will have on Australian retail

3. Morgan Stanley has downgraded Wesfarmers. The market has underestimated the coming impact of Amazon. Wesfarmers shares dropped 3.1% to close at $41.37.

4. The 4 reasons for cashing in. Philip Parker, the chairman and chief investment officer of Altair Asset Management, caused a stir when he announced he was selling all the Australian equities in his funds.

5. S&P doubts Australia’s budget forecasts. Bank debt is a big risk for the country’s AAA credit rating.

6. The next pay rise. Salary rises are still sedate across most industries and sectors in Australia, according to the latest annual salary guide from recruiters Hays.

7. Shortlisted foreign buyers for Arium. KordaMentha, the administrator, says there will now be a thorough review and comparison of the two offers in consultation with sale adviser Morgan Stanley.

8. Australia Post has sold the Sydney GPO to a foreign buyer for $150 million. The deal has been approved by the Foreign Investment Review Board.

9. “Have I been pwned?” This website can tell you if your personal information has been hacked.

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