Photo: Getty / File

Australian stocks finished the week strongly led by a global rally, following the ECB’s QE announcement overnight.

First, the scoreboard:

  • ASX 200 5501.80 (+81.86, +1.51%)
  • All Ords 5468.20 (+77.72, +1.44%)
  • AUD/USD 0.7988 (-0.0036,-0.44%)

Energy stocks posted the biggest gains. LNG Ltd was up 8.26% to $2.62, Senex closed up 7.29% to $0.28 and Santos rose 5.121% to $7.8.

Worley Parsons rose after announcing it had been awarded a construction contract for an oil sands mining project in Canada. The company finished up 9.341% to $9.95.

And the top stories today:

  1. The Aussie dollar fell below US80c.
  2. Australian resources company Arrium is shutting an iron operation it bought in 2011 for $320 million, and has flagged more than $1.3 billion in write-downs in a cost-cutting drive prompted by the collapse in iron ore prices. Its shares got hammered today, down 8.89% to $0.205.
  3. China’s flash PMI beat market expectations of 49.5 to print 49.8. It’s almost good news, except it’s still lingering in the contraction zone below 50.
  4. Shares in Australia’s first medical marijuana company, which listed on Thursday, are flying high. Phytotech closed its second day of trading up about 85% to $0.78 a share. It listed at $0.20 cents yesterday.
  5. The World Bank is forecasting all nine commodity price indices will continue to plunge this year. More here.
  6. Oil started to rally after the news of the Saudi King’s death. The reason: Traders were worried the new king, Abdullah’s half brother Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, will deviate from recent policy leading to a reduction in production and potential for a short squeeze.

Here’s the chart:

Have a great weekend and enjoy Australia Day.

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