AUSTRALIAN STOCKS LIFT: What you need to know

Backstage at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Resort 17 Collections in Sydney. Graham Denholm/Getty Images

Australian stocks closed higher.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,358.90 +29.91 +0.56%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,420.30 +24.04 +0.45%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7284 +0.0011 +0.15%

The local market ignored a weak Wall Street, where the S&P500 closed down 0.9% on Friday, to push the gains for the month to 2%.

Today the banks and the miners all gained ground. Westpac lifted above $30 a share again at $30.04, up 0.8%. BHP gained almost 2% to close at $18.56.

Healthcare stocks rallied after federal governmnet announced a deal with pathology businesses to maintain bulk billing for patients. Sonic Healthcare was almost 5% higher at $21.39.

The top stories Monday:

1. Dollars blues. Despite falling more than 7% since April 21, currency traders, collectively, are continuing to bet on further Australian dollar strength.

2. Expensive steaks. Elders posted a 54.7% rise in half year profit to $24.6 million as soaring cattle prices drove sales of large properties and brought in better livestock earnings. Elders shares dropped 7.8% to $3.55.

3. Craft beer delights. Gage Roads Brewing, the maker of Atomic Pale Ale and Narrow Neck Session, has extended its distribution deal with Woolworths for another three years. Its shares closed 6.3% higher at $0.05.

4. The chart. Australian 10-year government bond yields just hit a record low.

5. Startup winner. Peer-to-peer car sharing platform Car Next Door has managed to woo Shark Tank judge Steve Baxter, securing $300,000 in funding.

6. Not so fabulous. Being an Australian mumpreneur — a mother running her own business at home while also raising children — is not the glamorous career the buzzword suggests.

7. The milk glut. Fonterra, the world’s biggest dairy exporter, is making its dividend payments early to help farmers hit by a cut in the price it pays for their milk.

8. Time for a change. Former three hat restaurant Marque in Sydney’s trendy Surry Hills is closing after 17 years.

9. Women of ice and fire. The 10 most important women in Game of Thrones.

10. VIDEO: A couple of Aussies caught a fish with a whole snake in its mouth.

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