AUSTRALIAN STOCKS NUDGE AHEAD FOR THE WEEK: What you need to know

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Australian stocks closed the session, and the week, higher.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX 200: 5,775.60 +34.40 +0.60%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,811.20 +30.69 +0.53%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7519 +0.0013 +0.17%

The local market ended the week with the ASX200 ahead by 0.8%, following a late rally on Wall Street overnight.

The ASX was subdued by the big miners with BHP down 1.2% to $23.67, Rio Tinto 1.9% to $58.97 and Fortescue Metals 2.2% to $6.11.

On the positive, the big banks and financial stocks were higher with the ANZ adding 1% to $31.95 and the Commonwealth 11.% to $84.50.

The top stories:

1. Elon Musk just promised to fix Australia’s blackout problem in 100 days. And if he doesn’t make the deadline he’ll provide the $198 million in batteries free of charge.

2. Housing investment lending is surging. The value of loans extended to housing investors in Australia surged yet again in January, according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics earlier (ABS) today.

3. An apartment price slump will drag house prices lower. The ANZ has done some modelling on the impact an apartment price drop of 10% would have on housing and labour markets.

4. Rio Tinto is looking for a new chair. The pay is around $1.2 million a year for 9 board meetings.

5. Treasury Wine will soon unveil a French label to sell to Asia. The company behind Grange is positioning itself to take a bigger share of the China market with a new strategy and a new wine.

6. Shares in cannabis company AusCann have almost quadrupled. The company started trading on the ASX on February 3 after a $5 million capital raising from domestic and international investors. The shares closed at 70 cents, up 0.7% on the day and well ahead of the 20 cent issue price.

7. Chinese tourists are coming to rescue Australia’s sluggish retail sales. Shopping by tourists is a bright spot in an otherwise bleak landscape of record low wage growth, high levels of household debt, and uncertainty over interest rates and house prices.

8. Australia’s retirement funds will grow to $4 trillion or more by 2025. They are now at $2.2 trillion, according to the latest statistics from the industry body, ASFA (Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia).

9. MIKE CANNON-BROOKES: Modern technology will reshape jobs, but it’s the next generation that will hurt.

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