AUSTRALIAN STOCKS SLIDE: What you need to know

A woman, not a man. Traffic signals designed for gender balance near Flinders Street railway station in Melbourne. Paul Crock/AFP/Getty Images

Australian stocks closed lower.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX 200: 5,741.20 -18.46 -0.32%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,780.50 -18.99 -0.33%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7513 -0.0015 -0.20%

The local market wobbled to a weak close, dragged down by mining stocks.

BHP went ex-dividend to close at $23.96, down 5%, and Rio Tinto dropped 2% to $60.14.

Other companies going ex-dividend include South32, down 4.6% to $2.67, and QBE, shedding 2% to close at $12.59.

The major banks were ahead with Westpac adding 1.3% to $35.04.

The top stories:

1. Reports of Chinese buyers struggling to settle on their Aussie apartment. Chinese authorities are cracking down capital outflows leaving the country, including those being funneled to Australia to pay for property investment.

2. Sydney unit prices are due for 10% or more falls. BIS Oxford Economics expects “modest corrections” rather than a property bust in Sydney.

3. Australia’s energy crisis. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has called an urgent meeting of big gas producers to try to avert an east coast crisis.

4. The 8th anniversary for the bull market in US stocks. It’s been a nice ride for investors.

5. Managing the stress of working alone. The nature of work in the gig economy undermines some of our fundamental human needs and can create a significant amount of mental stress.

6. Moody’s expects no change to the triple A credit rating. Australia’s financial system and economy will absorb possible external and internal shocks.

7. Star federal Labor MP Kate Ellis is quitting politics. The former Labor sports minister and MP representing the key swing seat of Adelaide is stepping down.

8. Competition issues with the $11 billion Tatts and Tabcorp merger. The ACCC issued its first assessment of the deal, identifying areas with potential problems mainly in the gaming services and racing broadcast areas. Tatts closed 2.4% higher at $4.18 and Tabcorp was up 2.7% to $4.47.

9. Australia’s big banks opening the data vaults to fintechs. A parliamentary inquiry has recommended that the banks be forced to give access to customer data to help fintechs now pushing against the market share of the banks.

10. The NAB bought into foreign exchange payments startup Veem. The deal is the third investment by NAB Ventures, following taking a stake in Sydney startup Data Republic last year and a seed investment in health tech Medipass Solution.

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