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

Balloonists take to the skies. Photo: Getty Images

Australian stocks pushed ahead again today.

The scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,556.60 +16.91 +0.31%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,636.70 +21.70 +0.39%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7524 +0.0033 +0.44%

The local market continued its march higher, adding weight with the help of stronger big mining companies.

The ASX 200 is 6% ahead this month, with one trading day to go.

Today Rio Tinto was up 2% to $50.64 and Fortescue Metals 4.7% to $4.62.

Gold stocks rallied, as prices for the precious metal rose, with Northern Star up 7% to $5.04 and Ocean Gold also 7% to $5.040.

The banks were flat with Westpac down 0.3% to $30.81 but with the ANZ up 03.% to $25.77.

The top stories Thursday:

1. A super spike in infrastructure investment. The value of non-mining projects went stratospheric in the June quarter.

2. Death by robot. Jobs in the hospitality and tourism, transport, retail and administration sectors in Australia are most at risk from technology and automation.

3. A full year loss coming. The cost of restructuring at Virgin Australia kept the airline underwater in the final quarter of 2016.

4. Freelancer revenue surges again. Australian creative work commissioning platform Freelancer’s half-year results are out, and the company has posted a 56% increase in net revenue to $26.2 million. Its shares closed 3.4% down at $1.70.

5. Fast food, faster moves. Nando’s and its franchisees are at war over upgrades.

6. Keeping a roof over your head. The cost to rent along Australia’s coastline is going through the roof.

7. Profits ahead. Macquarie Bank expects its 2017 net profits to be “broadly in line” with last year’s record net profit of $2.063 billion. Its shares closed 1.3% higher at $74.80.

8. High speed but smaller earnings. Earnings and margins at Telstra will suffer with the roll-out of the NBN as Australia’s biggest telco loses its dominant position as a wholesale telecommunications provider.

9. Piling more cash into Brazil. BHP announced a provision of between $US1.1 billion and $US1.3 billion to fund work at the Samarco iron ore mine in Brazil, the site of a fatal disaster in November.

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