AUSTRALIAN STOCKS RALLY: What you need to know

Performers from Cirque Alfonse ahead of their debut at the Sydney Opera House. Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images

Australian shares closed higher for the second day in a row.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,651.40 +29.48 +0.52%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,703.40 +30.81 +0.54%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7628 +0.0001 +0.01%

The local market gained ground, driven by the banks.

The ANZ was up 1.3% to $29.19 and the Commonwealth 1% to $82.35.

Seven Group shares jumped up 12.9% to $8.81 after a broker upgraded the company to a buy. was up 8% to $10.86 after reporting a 7% rise in revenue to $178.6 million for the half year.

The top stories:

1. Premier Investment to report record results. Smiggle and Peter Alexander are defying retail trends. Its shares added 11.9% to close at $14.01.

2. And Specialty Fashion is under takeover. The owner of Millers, Katies, Crossroads, Autograph, City Chic and Rivers confirmed it has a confidential proposal from a Middle Eastern investment company. Its shares rose almost 26% to close at $0.655.

3. Macquarie still thinks the RBA will cut twice this year. “We remain of the view that the RBA will be dragged into additional easing in 2017.”

4. Cory Bernardi and the confusion of Australian conservatives. You can be both right and, at the same time, a complete hypocrite.

5. Half of Australia Post’s $36 million profit last year went to just six executives. CEO Ahmed Fahour’s $4.4 million salary was topped up by $1.2 million bonus, while another five executives were on pay packets of between $1.3 million and $1.8 million.

6. The Dreamworld tragedy cuts Ardent’s theme park revenue in half. In a trading update today, the company says its theme parks division recorded unaudited revenues of $6.97 million, down 50.4%. Its shares closed 2.4% higher at $2.11.

7. The top graduate employers in Australia. The Australian Association of Graduate Employers has ranked 75 employers via feedback from more than 2,500 graduates who spent 12 months working with organisations.

8. Citi snares rare pairs of Snap Spectacles for its Sydney office. They are being used to lure the best graduate employees to the financial services multinational.

9. The hottest housing markets in Australia are also where investors are most active. CoreLogic has produced an infographic showing the breakdown between owner-occupier and investor housing finance.

10. China’s pollution is so bad this company built a water bottle that doesn’t let in air. Next up, an ASX listing.

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