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

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The Australian market coasted to a positive close after a day of cautious trading with little direction from a flat Wall Street and slightly weaker Europe.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,686.90 +16.79 +0.30%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,669.00 +16.46 +0.29%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7375 +0.0003 +0.04%

On Wall St, the S&P 500 closed Friday up just 0.1%. On the local market, six out of ten sectors were higher, adding to the 3% gained last week.

The banks were higher, led by the ANZ, up 1.26% to $32.85. But energy stocks weakened with Santos down 1.57% to $7.54 and Woodside Petroleum 0.6% to $34.78.

Gold stocks crashed after steep falls in the price of the precious metal. Northern Star was down 9.61% to $2.07, Evolution 14.5% to $0.97 and Newcrest 10% to $11.87.

The top stories Monday:

1. Gold got destroyed. At one stage, the spot price suddenly tumbled 3.8%, or $43, to $1087 an ounce.

2. The Australian dollar hit a six year low. Are the forex robots to blame?

3. Australia’s bank regulator will force the major banks to hold billions more in capital. APRA moves.

4. Jetpacks work. Martin Aircraft’s machines are on the way to the US to be shown to the Department of Homeland Security and the armed forces. Its shares closed up 6.67% to $0.72.

5. Power from landfill. Utility investment group Duet is buying Energy Developments, a remote and clean power specialist, in a $1.4 billion deal.

6. Sonic Healthcare shares dropped sharply after the company issued a profit warning on a decline in its pathology business. Sonic says 2015 financial year earnings will be about 3% to 4% below guidance at $730 million. Its shares closed 2.79% to $21.25.

7. A2 Milk Company, which only sells milk with the A2 type of protein from specially selected cows, has rejected a joint takeover bid from its largest shareholder, Freedom Foods, and the US dairy group Dean Foods.

8. Iron ore blues. Troubled miner Atlas Iron raised just $86 million in capital from a share issue, well short of its $180 million target.

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