AUSTRALIAN STOCKS RALLY, BANKS SURGE: What you need to know

Burnout. Jamie Whincup in the Red Bull Racing Australia Holden Commodore VF after winning race 4 for the Supercars Auckland International SuperSprint in New Zealand. Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images

Australian shares closed higher.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,250.80 +69.98 +1.35%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,330.90 +67.78 +1.29%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7672 -0.0003 -0.04%

The local market surged after the FBI confirmed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server wasn’t a crime.

Investors in Asia cheered the decision with stocks rallying across the region.

In its best day for almost four months, the ASX200 was back above 5200 points as the market made up some of the 2% of losses of last week.

Westpac, which released an expected flat full year profit result, was 2.6% higher at $30.50. The Commonwealth added 2.1% to $72.53 and the NAB 1.5% to $26.27.

BHP was up 1.9% to $22.70, Qantas 2.7% to $3.00 and Santos 3.8% to $3.50.

Shares in Seven West Media, the owner of the West Australian newspaper, jumped more than 5% to $0.715 after it announced the closure of the deal to buy the Sunday Times newspaper from NewsCorp.

Inghams, of the chicken fame, debuted on the ASX, closing at $3.20, up 15.8% from its issue price of $3.15.

Sonic Healthcare shares gained 6.3% to $21.57 after several brokers upgraded their outlook for the pathology group.

The top stories:

1. Profits slide at the big four banks. More cost-cutting ahead at Australia’s big banks as margins crumble. Also read: The record profit run has ended.

2. Bad loans weigh at Westpac. The bank posted a flat full year cash profit of $7.822 billion, within analyst expectations. Its shares closed 2.6% higher at $30.50.

3. A senior executive shakeup at the ANZ. The bank poached Dimension Data’s Gerard Florian to be its technology chief.

4. That prized AAA rating. Blackrock says Australia could lose it within weeks.

5. Extremely hot days will become normal. Australian scientists say the hottest year on record globally in 2015 could be an average year by 2025 if carbon emissions continue to rise at the same rate.

6. Another type of heat in the property market. According to CoreLogic, Australia’s preliminary capital city auction clearance rate came in at 77.5%, up fractionally on the final figure of 74.4% reported in the previous week.

7. Are there really jobs out there? This alternate measure on unemployment says Australia’s labour market isn’t nearly as strong as it seems.

8. Neil Perry just sold Rockpool to a private equity firm. The merger of UPG, which owns the Fratelli and Sake brands, and the Rockpool Group creates a business with 47 venues, including Burger Project and the Rockpool Bar & Grill restaurants in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

9 . INTERVIEW: The Atlassian CEOs on their heroes, Australia’s tech challenges, and the future of teams.

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