AUSTRALIAN STOCKS RALLY: What you need to know

Coldplay at Allianz Stadium in Sydney. Mark Metcalfe/WireImage

Australian stocks closed higher.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,584.60 +39.55 +0.71%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,639.70 +38.99 +0.70%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7487 -0.0013 -0.17%

The local market surged on the back of record highs on Wall Street where the S&P500 added another 0.7% overnight.

On the ASX, the banks all added weight with Westpac up 1.3% to $32.35 and Commonwealth 1% to $81.18.

The big miners slipped but energy stocks rose. BHP was down 1.2% to $25.80 and Woodside Petroleum up 0.7% to $31.88.

The top stories:

1. A Macquarie Bank consortium gets between the Tatts and Tabcorp merger. The new cash and shares offer sees the lottery business at Tatts separated from the rest of the waging and gaming company. Tatts shares closed 8.4% higher at $4.49. Macquarie was up 1.69% to $87.27.

2. Bellamy’s calls a halt. The maker of the organic infant formula so loved in China went into voluntary suspension on the ASX.

3. Flight Centre loses airline ticket price fixing case in the High Court. The travel agency now faces penalties to be decided by the Federal Court. Previously it had paid, but was later refunded, $11 million in fines. Flight Centre shares closed at $30.52, up 0.8%.

4. The Australian Taxation Office website is back after two days. The ATO rejected reports that taxpayer data was lost during the outage.

5. ANZ and Macquarie Bank fined a combined $15 million for attempted currency price fixing. In the Federal Court, Justice Wigney today fined the ANZ $9 million and Macquarie $6 million.

6. The $100 bill could be going. The banknote could be a target of a task force investigating the cash economy.

7. Unemployment is at a three-year low but it’s not because the economy is strong. A cyclical decline in labour force participation due to weak economic conditions in Australia’s mining states.

8. Democracy sausage is Australia’s word of the year. The phrase beat a shortlist including census fail, smashed avo, shoey (the act of drinking from a shoe), deplorables (those who are extremely conservative or reactionary) and Ausexit (calls for Australia to leave the United Nations).

9. Why we don’t like taking risks as we get older. Researchers have found that the cause is in the brain’s changing structure, not simply because we’re ageing or becoming any smarter.

10. A magical photo of Mick Fanning surfing under the Northern Lights. The Australian professional surfer was camped out on a beach in the Norwegian archipelago of Lofoten, Norway.

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