AUSTRALIAN STOCKS NOSE AHEAD: What you need to know

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Australian stocks closed marginally higher.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX 200: 5,774.00 +14.86 +0.26%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,813.70 +15.58 +0.27%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7571 +0.0011 +0.15%

The big miners helped keep the local market in positive territory as investors waited for tomorrow’s Fed announcement on US interest rates.

Rio Tinto was up 2.2% to $60.83 and BHP 1.4% to $24.22. Fortescue Metals jumped 5.6% to $6.54 on the back of a surge in Chinese iron ore futures.

The banks were mixed with the Commonwealth up 0.39% to $84.82 but with the NAB down 0.49% to $32.75.

Stemcell United today fell 9.7% to $0.37 after jumping 3000% Tuesday when the company announced it was looking at medicinal cannabis as an opportunity.

The top stories:

1. Trying to manipulate the spot FX market. Westpac and the ANZ Bank have agreed to pay $3 million each after the corporate regulator ASIC investigated them for foreign exchange market manipulation.

2. Australians dislike debt, houses and stocks. Westpac, in a survey, asked where is the wisest place for saving right now.

3. Sydney has slipped in global rankings for startup cities. This is despite a year of record levels of venture funding and innovation moving to the centre of the political agenda.

4. CBA puts the squeeze on investor lending again. The bank has further toughened lending to property investors, now insisting they have at least a 10% cash deposit.

5. The massive $US36 billion ($A47 billion) LNG project in Darwin. More than 800 construction workers stood down in a dispute between Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries and construction giant Laing O’Rouke.

6. Retailers want to phase in cuts to Sunday penalty rates. The Australian Retailers Association says this will allow time to implement the benefits of the rate reduction, including offering additional hours of work and employment opportunities.

7. The best place in the world for expat workers is Vienna. Sydney just makes the top 10.

8. Mike Cannon-Brookes explains South Australia’s energy problem. The getting of power is not actually the problem. There’s a surplus of power versus demand.

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