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

Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Australian stocks rallied to near 23-month highs.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX 200: 5,912.90 +50.43 +0.86%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,948.90 +46.33 +0.78%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7489 -0.0007 -0.09%

The local market broke through the key 5900 point mark on the ASX200, led by the big miners and the major banks.

BHP was up 4.6% to $25.73 on reports that activist investor Elliott Management is pushing for a spinoff of oil assets and capital returns to shareholders.

Rio Tinto was up 1.3% to $60.84.

The ANZ Bank added 0.9% to $31.70 and the Commonwealth 0.8% to $85.49.

BT Investment was up 6% to $10.76 after reporting strong growth in funds under management.

WorleyParsons was up 4% to $11.49 on reports that the Dubai company Dar Group has imncreased its stake in the engineering group.

The Reject Shop lost another 18.5% to close at $4.16, adding to the 35% fall on Friday after it issued a profit warning.

The top stories:

1. The slowdown in housing investor lending has only just begun. The value of lending to housing investors fell heavily in February, dropping close to 6%, the largest decline since September 2015, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistic.

2. The Sydney housing market correction is coming. The latest CoreLogic-Moody’s Analytics Australian Home Value Index Forecast.

3. SCOTT MORRISON: A big issue in housing affordability is not the cost to buy but renting.

4. amaysim is now going to disrupt electricity and gas. The mobile sim card company has bought Click Energy, an online pure-play energy seller, for $120 million. amaysim shares added 5.4% to close at $1.94.

5. The weather slows Ardent’s recovery from the Dreamworld tragedy. In a trading update for March 1 to March 24, the company’s theme parks recorded revenue of $3.1 million, down 34.3% on the same period last year.

6. Rio Tinto says it paid $US2.9 billion ($3.8 billion) in Australian tax in 2016. And it’s been given an additional tax bill by the Australian Commissioner of Taxation.

7. The Commonwealth Bank and its quantum computing simulator. The bank has become the first non-university institution in the Asia-Pacific to acquire one.

8. It’s already snowing in Thredbo. Australia’s ski fields received a dump of snow on Monday morning.

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