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

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The Australian market rallied today with investors grabbing depressed stocks after two straight sessions of heavy falls in the fallout from the Greek debt situation.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,581.40 +106.40 +1.94%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,564.00 +100.71 +1.84%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7490 -0.0009 -0.12%

On Wall Street overnight, the S&P 500 was down 0.4%. The local market gained about $34 billion in value with all ten sectors closing stronger, led by financial and consumer discretionary stocks.

The ASX 200 closed up 1.94%, the best one-day gain since February.

Investors bought into the banks, sending Westpac up 3.91% to $3.76. The NAB up 2.21% to $34.21, the ANZ 2.55% to $33.03 and Commonwealth 1.61% to $87.69. AMP was up 3.46% to $6.28.

Energy stocks were weaker on the back of falling oil prices. Santos recovered some of its earlier losses to close up 0.52% to $7.70. LNG was down 0.99% to $4.00. Woodside Petroleum, however, was up 1.52% to $34.64.

Qantas benefited from the prospect of lower aviation fuel prices. The airline was up almost 8% to $3.44.

The top stories on Tuesday:

1. Prima Biomed shares jumped after European authorities endorsed the further development of a treatment for breast cancer. This is a key step leading to marketing authorisation in the EU. Its shares closed up 44% to $0.085.

2. Fewer people own shares. The proportion of Australians owning shares is falling, according to the latest numbers released by the ASX.

3. A big banking float coming. The NAB intends to sell off its troubled UK business Clydesdale Bank with an IPO before the end of this calendar year.

4. Confidence tanks. The ANZ-Roy Morgan index shows dropped an incredible 4.6% drop in confidence last week.

5. As expected, RBA left the official cash rate unchanged at 2%. The Governor’s statement said nothing, or almost so.

6. Bank profits will be hurt by demographic headwinds. The era of high returns from Australian household lending insulating bank profitability is coming to an end.

7. There may be a housing boom, but construction activity in Australia is actually shrinking. Activity across the construction sector contracted at a faster rate in June

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