AUSTRALIAN STOCKS RIDE THE RALLY: Here's what you need to know

Australia’s Peter Nevill during a nets session ahead of the 2nd Ashes Test match between England and Australia at Lord’s Cricket Ground. Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Australian stocks continued the strong rally started Tuesday, helped by better-than-expected China economic growth numbers.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,636.20 +58.80 +1.05%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,619.00 +57.11 +1.03%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7472 +0.0019 +0.25%

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 closed 0.5% higher. On the local market, all ten sectors were stronger today after Tuesday’s 1.9% rise.

Energy stocks were up a combined 2.5%. With Bent Crude higher by 0.9% to $US58.37 a barrel, Woodside Petroleum rose 3% to $34.96 and Santos 2.89% to $7.83.

The major banks were all stronger, led by the Westpac at $34.00, up 1.16%, and the Commonwealth 1.01% to $87.12.

Bradken was up 16.8% to $1.25 after the mining services company confirmed it was on track to meet earnings of between $136 million and $138 million for 2014-15.

The top stories Wednesday:

1. BHP Billiton is further writing down the value of its US shale oil operations by about $US2.8 billion ($AU3.76 billion) following falling global prices. Its shares fell, in a rising market, by 0.74% to $26.90.

2. The Australian dollar. 5 reasons why the dollar will continue to slide.

3. That June quarter on the ASX. A fall in value of Australian stocks caused funds under management at Perpetual to slip in value by about 4% or $1.6 billion in the June quarter to $30.2 billion. Perpetual shares were down 6.5% to $45.60.

4. 34,080 solar panels. A $40 million solar power plant, Australia’s largest off-grid project, will be created in the desert at the DeGrussa copper and gold mine about 900 km from Perth.

5. Global fund managers are turning to cash and that could be a bullish sign for stocks.The BofA Merrill Lynch Fund Manager Survey for July.

6. Joe Hockey and tax. Australia’s tax system is not set up for the digital, globalised economy.

7. The China economy. China’s big data dump including GDP came in stronger than expected.

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