AUSTRALIAN STOCKS NOSE AHEAD: Here's what you need to know

Don Arnold/WireImage

Australian stocks closed higher.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX200: 6,013.20 +14.90 +0.25%
  • All Ordinaries: 6,093.10 +11.20 +0.18%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7534 +0.0007 +0.09%

The local market just cleared the 6000 mark hurdle on the ASX200 index

The big miners kept the market afloat. BHP added 1.65% to $27.65 and Woodside Petroleum 1.7% to $32.29.

Asaleo Care fell 5% to $1.51 after a profit downgrade by the personal care and hygiene company.

Retail Food Group fell another 5.2% to close at $3.08 after falling 26% yesterday following a Fairfax Media report that hundreds of franchised stores were going to the wall as “a result of a brutal business model”.

Top stories:

1. A bid for Westfield? The shopping centre group is in a trading halt amid reports of interest from a Paris-based company.

2. ANZ sold its insurance arm for $2.85 billion. The bank completed the simplification of its wealth division with the sale of its life insurance business to the local arm of global financial services company Zurich. ANZ shares were up 1.1% to 28.82.

3. Australian retailers need Santa to appear soon. So far, retail sales conditions are trending two to four percentage points slower, and barely in positive growth, leading into Christmas 2017 compared to 2016, according to analysis by Citi.

4. just launched into health insurance. The pure play online retailer just signed a three-year partnership with Medibank. Kogan shares were up 1.5% to $4.78.

5. DigitalX plans to play in key cryptocurrency exchanges. The Perth-based company has more than $18 million in liquid assets, including $5 million in cash, more than $10 million in bitcoin and about $2 million in ether, power ledger (POWR) and etherparty (FUEL). Digitalx shares closed 4.3% higher at $0.24.

6. Why the RBA is unlikely to cut interest rates. Despite a slowdown in Australia’s housing market.

7. The annual number of credit cards in Australia just fell for the first time. A chart from Craig James, Chief Economist at Commsec.

8. The 20 hardest to fill jobs in Australia. Power is slowly shifting to job hunters.

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