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

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Australian stocks closed higher.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX200: 6,072.00 +22.00 +0.36%
  • All Ordinaries: 6,187.60 +22.90 +0.37%
  • AUD/USD: 0.8094 -0.0016 -0.20%

The big banks lifted the market. The Commonwealth was up 0.69% to $79.19 and the NAB 0.69% to $29.26.

Iluka jumped 4.8% to $10.17 after releasing a positive quarterly market update.

Atlas Iron was down 16% to $0.026 after announcing a 25% drop in iron ore shipments in the December quarter.

Energy company AWE was up 16.4% to $0.99 after a $602 million bid from Mitsui at $0.95 a share.

Top stories:

1. The new CEO of Australia’s biggest bank. Matt Comyn aims to rebuild trust. Also read: what we know about Comyn. And: Changing culture at the Commonwealth.

2. Zip Co beats guidance. The company posted record December quarter revenue of $9.3 million, up 35%. Transaction volume was up 47% to $140 million. Its shares jumped 22% to close at $1.16.

3. UBS has replaced Macquarie at the top of the financial adviser league table. Australia’s mergers and acquisitions activity increased 29.2% to $113 billion from 580 deals in 2017, the second-highest annual value since 2008 and a record high in deal volume.

4. Annual house price growth in Sydney is edging closer to 0%. CoreLogic’s weekly house price data.

5. The assembly of the new one-armed robot bricklayer. Fastbrick Robotics is ramping up staffing and resources. Fastbrick shares were down 5.5% to $0.170.

6. Deloitte says interest rates won’t move in 2018. The latest quarterly Business Outlook from Deloitte Access Economics.

7. New South Wales is Australia’s top performing economy. Commsec’s latest State of the States report.

8. Free money. Thousands of people in Kenya are getting free money for 12 years in an experiment that could redefine social welfare around the world.

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