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AUSTRALIAN STOCKS SLIDE: What you need to know

David Ramos/Getty Images

The Australian market closed the session and the week down.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,084.20 -58.07 -1.13%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,151.60 -52.71 -1.01%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7499 -0.0034 -0.45%

The local market lost almost 2% in a shortened trading week ahead of the Easter long weekend. The ASX 200 is still ahead 4% for the month but down almost 4% since the start of 2016.

The major banks were crushed today over fears of increasing bad debts from the struggling resources sector.

The ANZ started the rout when it reported further unexpected bad debts from the struggling resources sector hit by falling commodity prices.

At the close, ANZ shares were down 5.2% to $24.02.

The other big banks followed with Westpac losing 4.5% to $30.85, Commonwealth 3.16% to $74.28 and NAB 3.6% to $26.23.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank lost 6% to $9.00 and the Bank of Queensland 5% to $11.92.

The top stories Thursday:

1. The bad debt story. The declining fortunes of Australia’s once-booming resources sector have caught up with Australia’s banks.

2. Unusual punishments for work transgressions. Fines for resistance to hard work, for being late, for playing around and for a lack of passion.

3. Affordability? These are the cheapest suburbs to buy a home in Australia.

4. The signs are there. These 3 warnings reveal why Australia is far from being a lucky country.

5. Iron ore blues. The enormous rally is prompting high cost producers to restart production.

6. The G20 countries at risk. Climate change is putting increasing stress on the world’s resources, raising risks to the global economy and to global energy, food and water systems.

7. Meanwhile, back in China. A ban on short selling in China has been lifted, and stocks are under pressure.

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