AUSTRALIAN STOCKS RALLY: What you need to know

William West/AFP/Getty Images

Australian stocks closed higher, reversing three days of falls.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX 200: 5,776.60 +71.80 +1.26%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,820.70 +69.84 +1.21%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7656 -0.0020 -0.26%

The local market ran with record highs on Wall Street sparked by president Donald Trump’s speech to Congress.

The S&P500 added 1.4% to a record 2,395.96 points on the index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average cracked the 21,000 level for the first time.

On the ASX, all sectors were in the green with the banks and the big miners leading the rally.

“The last three days’ worth of profit taking and pre-Trump speech jitters were reversed in a matter of minutes this morning,” says Gary Huxtable, client adviser at Atlantic Pacific Securities.

“And that would be comforting for many. While the buying has been widespread today, the standouts have been the financials and material sector.”

Rio Tinto was 3.5% higher at $63.53 and BHP 3.3% to $25.70. South32 was up 9.2% to $2.72.

All the big four banks were up 1% or more. The Commonwealth closed at $83.86, up 1.2%.

Shares in troubled law firm Slate and Gordon reversed direction to close 40% higher at $0.10.

The top stories:

1. Australian home approvals haven’t been this low in over 3 years. Affordability constraints could be the reason.

2. Australia’s trade surplus narrowed sharply in January. According to the ABS, the surplus narrowed to $1.302 billion in seasonally adjusted terms, well below the $3.8 billion level eyed by economists.

3. Getting the message on excessive pay and easy bonus targets. Elizabeth Proust, one of Australia’s most prominent company directors, today urged boards today to rebuild trust with shareholders.

4. Credit Suisse says these on-the-nose Australian shares now have a positive alpha aroma. Some of the most unloved shares on the Australian market are starting to look like bargains.

5. The bank CEOs are fronting parliament again. A second round of questioning on their conduct.

6. Department stores are in for another five years of weak growth. Forecasts by industry analysts IBISWorld show slim growth of just 0.7% a year.

7. Medicinal cannabis has just ben given to 29 Australian children with epilepsy. The Victorian government has taken advantage of new federal laws for importing medicinal cannabis to fast-track the medicine.

8. Rats are eating Australia’s cars. It’s not a myth — this is why rats have acquired a taste for local vehicles.

9. Get ready for the weekend. 6 incredible new Australian gins.

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