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

Super Rugby. A Reds fan celebrates his team’s victory ágainst the Force at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

The Australian market surged higher on good news from Europe, a Wall Street at record highs and a series of local profit results.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,908.00 +26.46 (+0.45%)
  • All Ordinaries: 5,872.40 +26.77 (+0.46%)
  • AUD/USD: 0.7834 -0.0008 (-0.10%)

Greece got an extension on its bail-out program, easing fears of immediate fiscal disaster. And Wall street is at a high, with the S&P 500 closing up 0.6% on Friday.

On the local market, most sectors were stronger after disappointing and flat sessions last week. All the major banks closed higher and the AMP was up 2.3% to $6.78.

The top stories on Monday:

1. Falling prices for steel. Bluescope got hammered despite announced an underlying profit up 62% to $79.6 million for the six months to the end of December. It shares closed down 8.29% to $5.10.

2. Urban regeneration construction. Lend Lease profits jumped 25% but revenue fell 9.4% to 5.897 billion. Its shares closed up 0.83% to $17.01.

3. A new record. The rise and rise of Australian household debt. Cheaper finance is flowing through to house prices.

4. A strong US dollar. Brambles generated an 8% increase in sales to $US2.795 billion but the impact of a stronger US dollar meant the actual rise for the handling and storage logistics company ended up being 5%. It shares closed down 0.19% to $10.74.

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