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

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Australian stocks closed higher.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX200: 6,077.10 +7.00 +0.12%
  • All Ordinaries: 6,187.70 +10.90 +0.18%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7953 +0.0036 +0.45%

The local market edged higher, supported by the big resources companies and gold miners.

Rising gold prices pushed the miners higher. Evolution was up 6.6% to $2.73 and Northern Star 4.5% to $6.23.

Rio Tinto was 1.4% higher at $81.80 and BHP 1.1% to $31.90.

Telco Vocus was up 0.9% to $3.24 after announcing a restructure of the way its business is managed.

Specialty Fashion Group — the owner of Millers, Katies, Crossroads, Autograph, City Chic and Rivers — jumped 12.8% to $0.22. There was no official announcement from the company which is reducing its stores by 300 to around 700 during difficult trading.

Top stories:

1. More rate cuts could be on the way. Credit Suisse says Australian households battening down the hatches.

2. Crowdfunding licenses take off. Digital bank startup Xinja raised $500,000 in less than a day.

3. The one-armed robot bricklayer is getting its own advisory committee. The first member at Fastbrick Robotics is San Francisco-based construction expert Curtis Rodgers. Its shares closed 5.4% higher at $0.195.

4. South Australia’s Tesla battery. It’s only been one month and it’s already exceeding expectations.

5. Another flat year for pay rises for Australian workers? Despite tightening labour market conditions — as seen in falling unemployment and underemployment rates around the world — wage growth is not responding.

6. Australian home prices are still falling. CoreLogic says prices across Australia’s five mainland state capitals fell by 0.1% last week in average weighted terms, leaving the decline over the past months at 0.3%.

7. Xero’s CFO cashed in some of his shares. Sankar Narayan, the CFO of Xero, just sold 30,000 shares in the cloud-based accounting software group.

8. You can stay alert without drinking caffeine. Try these science-based tricks the next time you feel tired.

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