AUSTRALIAN STOCKS MARK TIME: Here's what you need to know

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Australian shares ended the session marginally lower.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX 200: 5,714.20 -5.96 -0.10%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,752.50 -5.92 -0.10%
  • AUD/USD 0.7608 +0.0022 +0.29%

The local market dropped at the open but gradually reclaimed ground during the session.

The banks were mostly flat except for the ANZ which added almost 1% to close at $28.03.

Among the miners, Fortescue Metals was up 3.8% to $4.87.

Rio Tinto which confirmed Yancoal’s $2.69 billion bid as the preferred buyer for its Australian coal assets, was up 0.4% to $59.85.

Mining laboratory services group ALS was up 8.7% to $7.83 after a broker upgraded the company’s price target.

Top stories:

1. Christine Holgate goes to Australia Post. The Blackmores CEO replaces Ahmed Fahour who is due to depart in July after criticism of his $5.6 million salary. Blackmores shares fell 4.4% to $89.81.

2. Melbourne’s population is growing faster than Sydney’s. Australian population growth is accelerating again, growing by 372,000 to 24.386 million people in the 12 months to December last year, according to census data released by the ABS.

3. The 2016 Census. The typical Australian and Australia at a glance.

4. 17% of homes built in Australia are unoccupied. Analysis by Kristina Clifton, economist at the Commonwealth Bank.

5. South Australia just built the nation’s first electric bus. Precision Buses was commissioned by the state government, with a $2 million grant, to build two electric and two low-emission diesel buses.

6. A big black hole in Australia. Only 60% of phones can relay location info during an emergency call.

7. We analyse the numbers on BrickX. Fintech company BrickX now has nine properties in Sydney and two in Melbourne, and pre-orders are currently available for bricks in a third Melbourne house.

8. More than 20% of Sydneysiders have mortgage stress. Demographers McCrindle analyse the numbers from the 2016 census.

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