AUSTRALIAN STOCKS MARCH HIGHER: Here's what you need to know

Bethany Clarke/Getty Images

Australian stocks closed higher for the fifth session in a row.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX 200: 5,889.60 +42.84 +0.73%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,958.10 +40.86 +0.69%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7850 -0.0002 -0.03%

The local market maintained its steady march to new heights, this time getting close to the key 5900 mark on the ASX200. The index is up more than 4% since October 4.

The big miners led the market today, with BHP up 1.3% to $27.31.

Rio Tinto, which released quarterly production numbers showing higher than expected exports of iron ore, was up 1.3% to $71.46.

The banks also put on weight, with the Commonwealth adding 1.3% to $78.25 and Westpac 0.8% to $33.42.

Telcos Vocus and TPG went on a tear without any official news to drive the rises. Vocus added 10.2% to close at $2.69 and TPG 5% to $5.16.

Qantas added 2.8% to close at an all time high of $6.43.

Top stories:

1. The ANZ Bank sells its wealth arm to IOOF. The ANZ Bank has sold off its pensions and investments businesses for $975 million. ANZ Bank shares were up 0.6% to $30.34.

2. The key takeaways from today’s RBA minutes. The Reserve Bank of Australia released the record of its October meeting, expanding upon the views it expressed in its post-meeting monetary policy statement.

3. A shake-up at Myer. Another shareholder, this time the Copulos Group, has called for greater urgency at Myer to turnaround the department store chain.

4. Sigma Healthcare settles with Chemist Warehouse. The pharmacy supplier announced a negotiated settlement with Chemist Warehouse over a wholesale supply agreement dispute. SIgma shares added 4.2% to close at $0.865.

5. amaysim has launched itself as a disrupter to power companies. The mobile sim card company, today launched itself as a energy utility with no lock-in contracts and discounts which don’t expire.

6. ANZ’s latest consumer confidence figures. The ANZ-Roy Morgan weekly consumer confidence index fell by 1.2% to 112.4, below the four-week moving average of 113.4 after a small pick-up in the week prior.

7. Melbourne’s Attica has been named Australia’s best restaurant. Restaurant of the year at the inaugural national Good Food Guide awards.

8. The booming growth in Chinese tourists. China is on the verge of becoming Australia’s largest source of international visitor arrivals.

9. PHOTOS: Inside the new Qantas Dreamliner 787.

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