AUSTRALIAN STOCKS RISE: Here's What You Need To Know

Al Yunan of China competes in the 2014 Asian Games at Incheon, South Korea. Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

The Australia market strengthened for the second day in a row on expectations that the European Central Bank will be applying economic stimulus measures.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,419.90 +26.52 (+0.49%)
  • All Ordinaries: 5,390.50 +23.09 (+0.43%)
  • AUD/USD: 0.8068 -0.0018 (-0.22%)

The local market was supported by Wall Street overnight with the S&P 500 index up by 0.5%. And the European Central Bank was expected to unveil a bond buying package of 50 billion euros per month.

Major banks and resources stocks led the market. BHP was up 2.64% to $28.79 and Rio Tinto was up 2.49% to $56.46. Westpac was firmer by 1.26% to $33.80.

The top stories on Thursday:

1. Double your money. Australian medical marijuana company PhytoTech has become the first medical-grade cannabis company to list on the ASX today. The 20 cent shares more than doubled to $0.415.

2. Gauntlet thrown at Qantas. Virgin Australia is dropping the fuel surcharge on its flights to the US and rolling the costs into its full fares. Virgin’s shares closed up more than 2% to $0.47.

3. The market didn’t like this. Ken MacKenzie has decided to retire at the end of this financial year after ten years as CEO of packaging company Amcor. Its shares closed down 4% to $12.36.

4. Rate cut? According to Westpac, it will be sooner rather than later.

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