AUSTRALIAN STOCKS SLIDE: What you need to know

Darcy Roper of Queensland competes in the Men’s Long Jump during the SUMMERofATHS Grand Prix in Canberra. Matt King/Getty Images

Australian stocks closed lower.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX 200: 5,757.30 -18.32 -0.32%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,794.60 -16.56 -0.29%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7570 +0.0028 +0.37%

The local market ate into the gains of last week with most sectors losing ground in a market still open but impacted by a public holiday in Victoria, the ACT, South Australia and Tasmania.

The banks were in the red and the big miners were mixed.

The commonwealth dropped 0.24% to $84.300, BHP fell just 0.08% to $23.65 and Rio Tinto was 0.3% higher at $59.16.

Gold miners surged as the price of the precious metal broke $US1200 a tonne. Evolution added 6.8% to close at $2.04 and Northern Star 4.8% to $3.93.

The top stories:

1. The big dividend payout has started. A record $22 billion going to Australian shareholders.

2 .Another way to cool Australia’s booming east coast housing market. Getting the regulator to lean on the market.

3. Mike Cannon-Brookes, Malcolm Turnbull and Elon Musk are in talks over the Tesla battery project. It’s been an incredible 48 hours for of attention for South Australia’s electricity network issues.

4. The WA election has taken $16 billion of assets sales off the table. The new premier, Labor leader Mark McGowan, confirmed he wasn’t going to sell off Western Power because “it’s the wrong thing to do”.

5. Shares in Carnegie Clean Energy jumped higher today on the back of the new WA Labor government. The government has confirmed a pre-election commitment to help fund the first commercial-scale wave farm in Australia. Carnegie shares closed 23% higher at $0.074.

6. The ATM is dying in Australia. The number of ATM withdrawals in Australia fell to a 15-year low in January.

7. Surfing is good for the economy. Those nomadic surfers looking for the next big surf break can also be leading indicators of economic growth as well as lifestyle icons.

8. Ramsay Health’s Chris Rex has cashed in $27 million in shares. In a filing to the ASX after the market closed Friday, Rex said he had sold 400,000 shares at $68.10 each. Ramsay shares closed down 2.5% to $64.88.

9. Too expensive to buy in Sydney and Melbourne? Scott Morrison suggests moving to regional cities to buy a house.

10. Australia’s top companies for 2016. Business analysts at IBISWorld have calculated their annual list of Australia’s top 1000 companies by revenue, whether ASX-listed, private or government run entities.

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