AUSTRALIAN STOCKS SLIP AGAIN: Here's what you need to know

Roel Catoto/AFP/Getty Images

Australian stocks closed lower for the second session this week.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX 200: 5,804.00 -32.74 -0.56%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,839.90 -28.81 -0.49%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7521 -0.0039 -0.52%

The local market fell again, overshadowed by a weaker Wall Street where the S&P500 closed 0.3% down overnight.

At one stage the ASX200 was below 5800 but the market clawed its way back above the line.

This time the banks led the fall, with the miners mostly gaining a little ground.

The ANZ Bank was down 1.5% to $31.16 and the Commonwealth 1% to $84.62.

Rio Tinto was up 1.5% to $58.90 and Fortescue Metals 2.9% to $5.24. BHP was down just 0.04% to $23.92.

The top stories:

1. Prospects for the Australian economy next year look discouraging. Comment from Westpac’s chief economist Bill Evans.

2. Panic in Canberra. Freelancer CEO Matt Barrie says changes to the 457 visa program were a blunt instrument to cool real estate prices.

3. SurfStitch sells Garage Entertainment for a loss. The online clothing retailer in 2015 paid $15 million in cash and shares for Garage and its assets including the acclaimed Australian documentary Bra Boys.

4. The IMF is upbeat on the Australian economy. Forecasting significantly better economic growth in Australia than the latest Treasury forecasts.

5. The problem with axing the 457 visa. Three experts say axing the 457 visa will just create major labour shortages.

6. Backing from a state. Australian fintech startup Assembly is doubling its local head count after Victorian government intervention.

7. The Iconic CEO. On growing from working on picnic tables to getting ready for Amazon’s arrival in Australia.

8. What are we driving? More Australians are shunning passenger vehicles in favour of 4WDs.

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