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

A surfer takes a wave on Bondi Beach. Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images

Australian stocks closed higher.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX 200: 5,713.10 +40.48 +0.71%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,775.10 +35.65 +0.62%
  • AUD/USD: 0.8043 -0.0012 -0.15%

The major banks carried the local market at the start of a new week, with the ASX200 breaking above the key 5700 point.

The ANZ Bank was up 2.1% to $29.48 and Westpac 1.7% to $31.33.

Among the miners, Rio Tinto dropped 1.4% to $67.53 and BHP 1.8% to $26.80.

Shares in a2 Milk jumped after the infant formula maker re-affirmed its outlook for strong growth. Its shares closed 4.3% higher at $5.53.

And Macquarie Group, presenting at the same conference in Hong Kong, said it expects 2018 combined net profit to be broadly in line with 2017. Its shares were up 2.9% to $85.15.

Top stories:

1. Clearance rates suggest the housing market is cooling. According to data released by CoreLogic, a preliminary clearance rate of 70.2% was recorded across Australia’s capitals, up fractionally on the 70% preliminary figure released in the previous week.

2. Developer Harry Triguboff warns apartment downturn could destroy an enormous amount of wealth. The billionaire says a downturn will have a “big impact on the economy” and has called for government intervention to help stem price falls.

3. The ANZ Bank wants to operate more like a startup. A restructure of ANZ Bank’s Australian arm aims to leave the division with 150 teams.

4. LIAR LOANS: UBS thinks there could be problems with $500 billion worth of Australian mortgages.

5. The founders of STAB Magazine just got the business back. Sam McIntosh and Tom Bird, who founded the magazine for high-performance surfing, closed the deal with the administrators of SurfStitch.

6. Australians are taking to drink again. The amount of alcohol consumed per person in Australia has increased for the first time in nine years, according to analysis of official data by industry research house IBISWorld.

7. The massive Tabcorp and Tatts gambling empire merger is getting closer. The multi-billion dollar merger of the gaming businesses is expected to be completed in November.

8. Millennials frivolous? No way. The real thing holding Australian first time buyers back from buying a property is rapidly increasing house prices, says John Simon and Tahlee Stone, economists at the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).

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