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

Kurtley Beale passes during an Australia Wallabies training session at Ballymore Stadium on in Brisbane. Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Australian stocks rallied for the third straight session, taking the week’s gains to almost 3.4%, as investors ignored a flat Wall Street.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,669.60 +33.38 +0.59%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,649.80 +30.81 +0.55%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7375 -0.0005 -0.07%

The S&P500 closed down just 0.1% but the Australian market opened higher and kept going. Six out ten sectors were higher.

The banks were all up, led by Westpac up 1.85% to $34.63. The big miners were slightly higher, but energy stocks suffered. Santos was down 1.41% to $7.72 and LNG 1.86% to $3.70.

The top stories Thursday:

1. Profit hit for QBE. The insurance giant expects to make a loss of about $US120 million on the sale of its Mortgage & Lender Services business in North America. Its shares closed up 1.95% to $14.67.

2. LNG prices cut into Woodside Petroleum’s revenue. The energy producer reported sales revenue for the three months to the end of June falling to $898 million from $1.408 billion. Its shares closed down 1.12% to $34.57.

3. Getting those knees fixed. Orthocell shares soared today after the biotech announced positive research into therapies to regenerate damaged tendons and cartilage. Its shares closed up more than 24% to $$0.58.

4. The Australian dollar outlook. It’s dark out there for the Aussie dollar after it hit a six year low overnight. And across the ditch, the NZ dollar was getting smashed. And it’s about to get worse.

5. The RBA calls for a review of negative gearing, but wants Australia to face some truths about housing.

6. Economic growth prospects. Like the the IMF and World Bank before them, Asia’s Development Bank slashed its forecasts.

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