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

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Australian stocks closed higher.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX 200: 5,771.20 +43.79 +0.76%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,811.20 +42.25 +0.73%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7441 -0.0020 -0.27%

The local market surged, regaining some of last week’s losses, on the back of a stronger Wall Street where the S&P500 closed 0.7% higher on Friday.

The miners led the charge with Rio Tinto up 3.3% to $65.37, BHP 1.5% to $24.66 and Fortescue 2.4% to $5.37.

The banks were mixed. The Commonwealth was up 1.2% to $81.25 but the ANZ was down 0.4% to $28.36.

Village Roadshow added 3.1% to $3.64 after making a short statement saying it is in talks regarding the sale of its 50% stake in the Golden Village cinema in Singapore.

The top stories:

1. The risk from the property market. S&P cut the credit ratings of 23 Australian financial institutions.

2. But are property prices easing? Corelogic’s Property Market Indicator. Also read: Home auction clearance rates just rebounded.

3. The retail crunch intensifies. SurfStitch released an update today saying full year losses are now expected to be about double the size since the last estimate in February.

4. What the bank levy will cost shareholders at Westpac. The tax will strip 8 cents a share, or about 4.3% of dividends, based on Westpac’s 2016 full year dividends of 188 cents.

5. Twiggy Forrest just gave away $400 million. Here’s where the funds are going.

6. The global economy is looking OK, based on Japan’s latest trade report. Japanese export and import growth slowed in April compared to a month earlier, but both remained firmly in positive territory.

7. Businesses may be more confident but that doesn’t mean wages will rise. The latest “wage gauge” index from ANZ economists David Plank and Giulia Lavinia Specchia shows that a pickup in business sentiment hasn’t been matched by wary households

8. Selling them campaign materials at inflated prices. Senator Pauline Hanson’s chief-of-staff, James Ashby, has been recorded telling party officials they can make money from candidates in the Queensland election.

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