AUSTRALIAN STOCKS LIFT: What you need to know

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Australian shares closed higher.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,650.10 +39.13 +0.70%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,706.30 +38.29 +0.68%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7574 -0.0010 -0.13%

The local market rallied, reversing most of Monday’s losses, despite a weaker Wall Street where the S&P500 closed down 0.3% overnight.

The big miners pushed the market higher with BHP adding 2.4% to $27.01 and Rio Tinto 3.7% to $64.76. South 32 was up 6% to close at $2.72.

The banks were mixed with Commonwealth up 0.3% to $81.77 but the ANZ down 0.4% to $29.15.

Sleep disorder device maker ResMed shares rose 7% to $8.92 after reporting a 17% rise in sales for the second quarter.

Bellamy’s was down 1.8% to $3.78, adding to the falls since sales of its organic infant formula hit a wall in China. Laura McBain, the former CEO who was pushed out earlier this month, resigned as a director of the company today.

The top stories:

1. Amazon’s seismic hit is coming to retailing. Amazon’s arrival in 2017 will mean huge disruption, according to analysis by Deloitte.

2. Departing McGrath real estate agents are reported to be setting up a rival. Industry news site Property Observer says the agents are set to launch as The Agency in less than six days. McGrath shares were down another 5.5% to close at $0.765.

3. BlueScope smashes its profit forecasts. The steel maker announced a guidance upgrade on stronger steel prices and cost cutting. Its shares closed 11% higher at $11.21.

4. Feeling a little glum returning to work? According to the latest ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index, sentiment levels slipped last week, an outcome that ANZ says likely reflects the end of summer holidays for many.

5. The Woolworths turnaround plan appears to be working. A UBS survey calls the Christmas battle in favour of the supermarket chain ahead of Wesfarmers-owned rival Coles.

6. A PayPal exec defected to Australian fintech startup Tyro. Kareem Al-Bassam has worked all over the world as an expert in payment systems.

7. Australian startup Local Measure raises $4.5 million. The tourism tech company plans to open Dubai and Los Angeles offices.

8. First home buyers appear to be more active. The latest quarterly residential property survey from the National Australia Bank show the proportion of sales to first time buyers actually rose in the three months to December.

9. But in global terms Sydney houses are officially severely unaffordable. Buying a home in New York is easier on the wallet than in Sydney, according to the 13th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey.

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