AUSTRALIAN STOCKS RESUME THEIR CLIMB: Here's what you need to know

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Australian stocks closed higher.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX 200: 5,875.40 +35.50 +0.61%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,911.10 +36.57 +0.62%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7357 +0.0015 +0.20%

The local market picked up again, regaining the ground lost in Tuesday’s bank shares falls.

Today the slide in bank shares sparked by the prospect of a new tax on big banks eased with the ANZ gaining 0.79% to close at $29.39.

However, Westpac dropped 0.7% to $32.65 and the Commonwealth, which lost 3.9% on Tuesday, was down just 0.3% to $81.73. The NAB was down 0.6% to $32.20.

The smaller banks surged as investors worked out that these may be able to compete better under the new levy announced last night in the 2017 budget.

The Bank of Queensland was up 3.6% to $12.00, Bendigo & Adelaide Bank 3.9% to $12.25 and Suncorp 2.7% to $14.55.

AMP, another possible beneficiary from the budget via more cash coming into super funds, was 1.1% higher at $5.42. And wealth manager Yellow Brick Road was up 4% to $0.13.

Boral, seen to be poised to benefit from the budget’s infrastructure focus, was up 4% to $6.76.

Among the miners, Fortescue was up 5.6% to $5.15, BHP 1.5% to $23.52 and Rio Tinto 5% to $59.97.

The top stories:

1. The bank levy. What the best financial minds are saying about the government’s new tax.

2. The banks fight back. The new bank levy is a “stealth tax” on the life savings of Australians

3. Budget 2017. Here’s how much the tax on banks will crush their margins. And here are the ASX-listed companies winning from the budget.

4. Pay rises are making a comeback. The federal budget forecasts wage increases ahead.

5. What happened to innovation and entrepreneurship? Startups respond to the budget.

6. CSR calls the top of the residential construction boom. “While residential construction markets appear to have peaked from recent record levels of activity, construction currently underway will support demand for CSR’s products in the year ahead.” Its shares dropped 11.8% to close at $4.56.

7. Getting hit in the face with a lemon meringue pie. It’s just become clearer why this happened to Qantas CEO Alan Joyce.

8. Trouble at the footy. Masterchef judge George Calombaris has been charged with assault following an incident at the A-League grand final in Sydney.

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