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

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Australian stocks closed higher with its strongest rally since the global wave of selling earlier this month.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX200: 5,909.00 +67.80 +1.16%
  • All Ordinaries: 6,008.70 +68.70 +1.16%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7934 +0.0007 +0.09%

The local market surged, helped by a stronger resources sector and a rally on Wall Street where the S&P500 closed 1.3% higher.

The ASX200 regained the key 5900 mark.

BHP added 4.8% to 31.46 and Rio Tinto 4.1% to $82.17.

Pure play iron ore miner Fortescue Metals was up 6% to $5.41.

Among the banks ANZ added 1.6% to $28.09 and the NAB 1.4% to $29.33.

Suncorp fell 2.4% to $13.00 after reporting a a 9% fall in revenue $7.84 billion and a 15.8% drop in profit to $452 million in the first half.

The ASX, operator of the exchange, lifted profit 5.1% to $230.5 million. Its shares closed at $55.96, up 3.4%.

Domino’s Pizza shares fell for a second day, this time dropping 7.5% to close at $43.00, after announcing weaker than expected sales in Australia.

Top stories:

1. McGrath in a trading halt. It’s preparing a statement relating to media reports about its founder, real estate salesman John McGrath. Also read: McGrath is now posting losses and revenue is down 23%.

2. A new record for job creation. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), employment grew by 16,000 in seasonally adjusted terms in January, marginally topping forecasts for an increase of 15,000. Also read: Here’s what economists are saying.

4. Telstra’s profit is down 5%. The result was dragged down by its disastrous investment in Ooyala, the US-based business it thought would become a global platform to stream content to websites and smartphones. Telstra shares closed 0.5% higher at $3.45.

5. How bad are things for Myer? This bad.

6. LiveTiles just raised $20 million in equity. The creating collaboration software company will use the cash to accelerate sales and marketing. LiveTiles shares fell 3% to close at $0.47.

7. Australian businesses are looking to hire people with engineering and IT skills. According to jobs website Seek, there were 14.7% more advertisements on its platform in January compared to a year earlier,

8. Australia’s new $50 note. David Unaipon and Edith Cowan feature again.

9. CHART: how Australian home prices have changed over the past decade.

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