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

Greg Inglis bursts through the tackle of Daryl Millard and Chris McQueen during a South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL training session at Redfern Oval in Sydney. Renee McKay/Getty Images

The Australian market closed higher as investors positioned for a possible second cut in official interest rates when the RBA meets tomorrow.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,958.90 +30.13 (+0.51%)
  • All Ordinaries: 5,926.30 +27.82 (+0.47%)
  • AUD/USD: 0.7767 -0.0041 (-0.53%)

The local market is close to breaking through 6000 points on the ASX 200, a level not seen since before the GFC.

Eight out of 10 sectors were higher today. The big banks were all up about 1%. BHP was up 1.4% to $34.12 and Rio Tinto stronger by 1.85% to $65.60.

Dragging down the market were several stocks trading ex dividend, including Fairfax Media, down more than 5% to $0.93, Fortescue Metals, down 1.61% to $2.45, and IAG Insurance, down more than 3% to $5.90.

The top stories on Monday:

1. Big changes at Myer. Bernie Brookes steps down as CEO of Myer and his CFO departs for a new job in the US. The retailer’s shares closed down 10.7% to $1.655.

2. Another video on demand player. The Foxtel and Seven West Media streaming media joint venture Presto has received approval from the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission). Seven West Media shares closed up more than 9% to $1.615.

3. Dairy industry consolidation. Warrnambool Cheese and Butter, majority owned by Canadian dairy giant Saputo, has bought the cheese business from drinks and food company Lion for $137.5 million. Warrnambool shares closed up 1.22% to $8.30.

4. Good news for Australia’s biggest market, China. Activity in China’s factories edged to a seven-month high in February.

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