AUSTRALIAN STOCKS RALLY: Here's what you need to know

Model trucks after a world record attempt at longest moving convoy of radio controlled vehicles in London. Carl Court/Getty Image

The Australian market surged to a firm close, buoyed by a round of good profit results and a $6.5 billion takeover of transport group Toll Holdings.

The major banks were all firmer and BHP was up 1.32% to $32.98.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,915.70 +57.49 (+0.98%)
  • All Ordinaries: 5,877.70 +55.39 (+0.95%)
  • AUD/USD: 0.7824 +0.0006 (+0.08%)

Wall street was steady overnight with the S&P 500 closing up 0.2%.

The top stories on Wednesday:

1. A 49% premium to market price. Australian transport group Toll Holdings is being taken over by Japan Post for $6.5 billion.

2. Lost value in media. Seven West Media posted a half year loss of nearly $1 billion after writing down the value of its television and newspaper business. Its shares closed steady at $ 1.42.

3. Woodside Petroleum posted a full year net profit of $US2.414 billion, up 38%, the second highest in the company’s history, despite falling global oil prices. Woodside closed up 4.4% to $36.45.

4. Punishing insurance. Insurance Australia Group (IAG) reported first half profit down 9.8% to $579 million due to an increase in natural disaster payouts. Its shares closed down 8.5% to $5.85.

5. A flood of results including carsales.com, Bega Cheese and the Reject Shop whose shares jumped more than 20% on improving sales.

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