AUSTRALIAN STOCKS RISE: Here's what you need to know

Jayden Foster at a Carlton Blues AFL training session in Melbourne. Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Australian stocks ended in positive territory.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,122.60 +23.37 +0.46%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,181.00 +23.30 +0.45%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7065 +0.0035 +0.50%

The local market closed higher for the first time this week but was held back by Westpac, which went ex-dividend and lost 2.46% to $30.14.

BHP, still suffering a loss of investor confidence after a fatal mine disaster in Brazil, also dragged on the market. The world’s biggest miner lost another 2.86% to $20.95.

The other major banks did well, with the ANZ rallying 2.7% to $26.23.

Qube, which has now made a formal bid for logistics group Asciano, added 5.6% to $2.31 today after being marked down yesterday for declaring its hand for a 100% bid.

Dick Smith, which last month downgraded its profit forecasts, fell another 5% today to $0.785.

The top stories Wednesday:

1. The BHP mine disaster. The impact from the fatal disaster at the Samarco mine in Brazil will cut BHP’s earnings, profits and share valuations. Its shares were down 2.8% today to $20.95, a drop of more than 10% in less than a week.

2. Paying for the iiNet purchase. TPG Telecom went into a trading halt to launch a $300 million share capital raising placement.

3. Very fast data. Vocus and Nextgen are working on building a high speed communication cable between Australia and Singapore. Vocus shares were down 0.89% to $6.69.

4. Online travel bookings are booming for Webjet. The company has upped its full year guidance by 20% to $33.5 million in EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation). Webjet added 3.7% to $5.23.

5. More love for Malcolm. The top end of town, Australia’s powerful company directors, like Malcolm Turnbull a lot more than they did Tony Abbott. Also see: Australian consumer sentiment soars again.

6. Here’s a strong indication that Middle Australia is feeling the squeeze. The Westpac-MI consumer sentiment index.

7. Is there ever enough to retire on? Even with a good retirement fund, the risk of running out of money before you die is real.

8. Australia’s plan to fund its startup sector has turned out to be a flop so far. Dissecting the significant investor visa scheme.

9. Chocolate not so sweet. Melbourne-based premium chocolate maker and retailer Koko Black has gone into voluntary administration.

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