AUSTRALIAN STOCKS SLIDE FURTHER: Here's what you need to know

Sam Moa of the Roosters during a Sydney Roosters NRL training session this week. Jason McCawley/Getty Images

Australian stocks closed lower again.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,278.90 -44.27 -0.83%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,354.20 -40.97 -0.76%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7236 -0.0022 -0.30%

The local market continued its slide with the ASX 200 dropping below the key support level of 5300. The market is down 2.4% so far this week.

The major banks and the big miners were the main drag.

The NAB was down 1.75% to $24.76, Rio Tinto 2% to $42.90, BHP 1.35% to $18.24 and Qantas shed 3.2% to $3.00.

Shares in aged care providers Regis, Japara and Estia Health fell hard after a downgrade by Merrill Lynch. Japara Healthcare lost almost 9% to close at $2.43, Regis 8.5% to $4.40 and Estia 5.6% to $5.32.

The top stories Thursday:

1. The biggest piece of the pie. Pacific Equity Partners is about to get full control of Patties Foods, the maker of Four’n Twenty pies traditionally consumed at sporting events, for $231.8 million. Patties shares closed at $1.69, up almost 7%.

2. The 2016 Hays Salary Guide. About three-quarters of Australian workers will get a pay rise of less than 3% or nothing this year.

3. Opportunistic, says ALS Ltd. The chemical testing and analysis company rejected a $2.67 billion takeover offer from private equity groups Bain Capital and Advent International. ALS shares closed 27% higher at $5.15.

4. MARK TEXTOR’S CAMPAIGN DIARY: Turnbull’s approach on big issues has been clear for decades.

5. Getting better returns. Australian private equity and venture capital funds returned 18.4% after fees last year.

6. A retail sales miss. Australian retail sales rose 0.2% in April after seasonal adjustments, according to the ABS.

7. Online spending now equates to 6.6% of all Australian retail sales. Online sales surged by 10.8% in the year to April.

8. Another restaurant goes. Melbourne chef Frank Camorra is closing his Spanish tapas restaurant, MoVida, in Sydney after four years.

9. Australia’s trade deficit down 20%. The April trade data beat market expectations with a seasonally adjusted deficit of $1.579 billion against market expectations of a -$2 billion print.

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