AUSTRALIAN STOCKS NOSE AHEAD: What you need to know

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Australian stocks closed higher.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX 200: 5,746.50 +16.90 +0.29%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,788.50 +13.09 +0.23%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7574 -0.0019 -0.25%

The big miners carried the local market with BHP adding 1.6% to close at $25.75 and Rio Tinto 1.9% to $62.13.

The major banks were all higher with Westpac up 0.7% to $34.17

Navitas shares lost 14.9% to close at $4.22 after announcing it will lose some federal government contract revenue.

The local market was also weighed down by a string of companies, including Tatts and Super Retail, going ex-dividend.

The top stories:

1. Job advert growth slows. The number of jobs being advertised in Australia fell modestly last month, partially reversing an enormous jump in January.

2. Fastbrick, the one-armed robot bricklayer, gets more investors. Investment company Washington H. Soul Pattinson has gone on market to buy a 16.27% stake in the Perth-based group which has built a robot bricklayer.

3. Sydney Airport gets about $6000 a year from each car parking space. The best profit margins are made not made from planes, but in the car park.

4. Losing the sovereign triple-A credit rating might not be that bad? Here’s what Jarrod Kerr, director of fixed income strategy for the Commonwealth Bank’s Institutional Banking and Markets division, says.

5. The problem with wages. A big surge in the relative value of Australia’s exports has had zero impact on what’s landing in people’s pockets.

6. Hot houses. There’s no slowdown in sight for Sydney and Melbourne housing markets with prices continuing to surge in early March.

7. More than $300 million in damage claims from the February Sydney hailstorm. More than 30,000 claims, mainly for home and car insurance, were received by IAG and Suncorp.

8. Sydney’s lockout laws have shifted violence to neighbouring suburbs. The results of a new study by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics.

9. Retail sales grew modestly in January. Australian retail sales rose by 0.4% in seasonally adjusted terms in January, rebounding from a shock 0.1% decline in December.

10. Declaring an interest. Employment minister Michaelia Cash reportedly failed to declare a $1.4 million investment property within the 35 days required under Senate rules.

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