AUSTRALIAN STOCKS SLIDE, BANKS HIT : Here's what you need to know

Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images

Australian stocks closed lower, weighed down by the major banks.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX 200: 5,856.30 -19.90 -0.34%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,897.30 -18.62 -0.31%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7545 -0.0026 -0.34%

The local market followed Wall Street, which sank on reports of tighter monetary policy and delays on tax reform.

The major banks led the falls. The Commonwealth was down 1.4% to $84.79 and Westpac 1.2% to $34.22.

Among the miners, Rio Tinto was down 1.6% to $60.68 and BHP 0.3% to $24.67.

Aged care provider Estia Health closed 3.4% higher at $3.26 on a possible takeover bid.

JB Hi-Fi jumped 3.9% to $25.38 after the electronic retailer reaffirmed sales and underlying profit guidance.

The top stories:

1. Australian regulators have Apple in court for forcing people to use its repair service. Early last year, the tech company was caught disabling iPhone and iPad devices that it judged to be repaired by a third party.

2. A Singapore tax sling. Rio Tinto is fighting a $447 million tax bill related to what is known as transfer pricing.

3. Australian retailers are pioneers of innovation and Amazon won’t change that. There’s a lot of talk recently about retail industries across the globe facing an apocalypse.

4. Australians do not trust big business. Federal treasurer Scott Morrison says Australians put their faith in small and medium-sized enterprises to support jobs and growth.

5. Aldi is ramping up its domination plan for Australia. Global grocery giant Aldi will open 25 new stores a year on the east coast and spend at least half a billion dollars smartening up its ageing fleet.

6. A global real estate expert thinks Sydney property looks cheap. The thoughts of Andrew Hay, global head of residential at property consultancy firm Knight Frank. Also read: Here’s how many square metres $US1 million buys across the world.

7. Australia’s millennials are at the bottom of the heap when it comes to home ownership. HSBC compares local ownership with other developed markets such as the US, UK, Canada and France.

8. The CEO of The Good Guys has gone. Michael Ford is leaving after the $870 million takeover by electronics retailer JB Hi-Fi.

9. The top 10 best paying Australian tech jobs for 2017. Starting salaries for technology professionals are expected to rise by an average of 2.7% in 2017.

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