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

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Australian shares closed higher.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX 200: 5,755.70 +41.51 +0.73%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,796.10 +43.57 +0.76%
  • AUD/USD 0.7609 +0.0026 +0.34%

The local market gained ground despite falls on Wall Street where the S&P500 closed 0.8% lower overnight.

The big miners, supported by the major banks, led the charge.

BHP added 1.9% to close at $22.89, Rio Tinto almost 2.5% to $61.34 and Fortescue Metals 4.1% to $5.07 on firmer iron ore prices.

The ANZ was up 1.1% to $28.35 and Westpac 0.8% to $30.35.

Cancer treatment company Sirtex jumped 17% to close at $15.80 after announcing write-downs of about $90 million but saying that the business is performing in line with expectations.

Insurer IAG was up 6.4% to $6.97 after upgrading earnings expectations.

Top stories:

1. Warning: Investment banks continue to warn about the outlook for Australian household finances.

2. Petya ransomware. Here’s how it works and how you can protect yourself.

3. The first woman to chair a big four in Australia. Alison Kitchen has just been elected by partners at KPMG Australia as national chair.

4. The government cuts TV licence fees. Free-to-air network shares surge. Nine was up 4.49% to $1.395, Seven West Media 4.2% to $0.735 and Southern Cross 7.1% to $1.28.

5. Jail time for online shopping entrepreneur. A Melbourne ecommerce business owner has been given 3 months jail for contempt of court.

6. Those funky free postcards are about to disappear. Avant Card, Australia’s first free postcard advertising company, is closing next month, a victim of the rise of marketing via the internet and funding cuts to the arts.

7. Of course, we pay tax. Here’s how much the major Australian banks contributed to tax revenues in 2016.

8. The Netflix price hike. Prices for Australia are up over and above the amount required for next week’s start of compulsory GST on digital content.

9. How to get a gong, quickly. The Principality of Hutt River, which broke away from Australia in 1970 after a dispute over a wheat quota, has launched a supporters campaign after being hit with a $3 million tax bill.

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