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

A finished section of George Street, Sydney, where a light railway is being built. Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images

Australian stocks closed lower.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX200: 5,971.70 -13.89 -0.23%
  • All Ordinaries: 6,056.80 -13.82 -0.23%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7652 +0.0054 +0.71%

The local market lost ground, weighed down by the major banks and the big miners.

Westpac fell 1% to $30.83 and Rio Tinto 2% to $70.57.

Retail shares soared after better retail sales statistics and on the same day as the Amazon launch in Australia.

Harvey Norman was up 6.2% to $4.25, JB Hi-Fi 6.7% to $25.73 and Super Retail 3.1% to $8.24.

Among telcos, Telstra added 3.1% to close at $3.61.

Top stories:

1. The RBA kept rates unchanged. The central bank remains optimistic on wage growth.

2. Amazon is here. The US-based retail giant launched its retail offering, with hundreds of thousands of discounted goods and one-day delivery, on its Australian website. Also read: Amazon Australia has timed its launch perfectly for Christmas.

3. What does it mean? Morgan Stanley’s first impression of Amazon Australia is the offer isn’t that competitive. Also read: Here’s what Amazon’s arrival could mean for the economy.

4. Australian retail sales rebound. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), sales rose by 0.5% to $26.05 billion in seasonally adjusted terms, topping expectations for an increase of 0.3%.

5. Former Australia Post CEO let a senior executive go after threats from a union boss. Ahmed Fahour admitted in court he ousted an executive from his job because he had attracted the ire of a powerful union leader.

6. Australian gamblers lost a record $24 billion in the last year. Government statistics reveal pokies losses grew 4.2 per cent nationally, roughly double the rate of inflation to reach $12 billion in 2015-16, while sports betting remained the fastest-growing form of gambling.

7. Renewable energy. Everything you need to know about Tesla’s new battery in South Australia.

8. The ultimate gift guide for the gentleman that has almost everything. A list of great go to Christmas present ideas.

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