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

A mural showcased as part of the 2017 Adelaide fringe festival. Amer Ghazzal / Barcroft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Australian stocks closed marginally lower, weighed down by the banks.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX 200: 5,856.60 -16.08 -0.27%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,895.80 -13.91 -0.24%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7569 -0.0037 -0.49%

The local market slipped, eating up Monday’s gains but still leaving shares near 23-month highs.

The major banks lost a little ground after a 3% rise last week. The NAB was down 0.9% to $33.14 and Westpac almost 1% to $34.87.

Aurizon was down 1.1% to $5.13 after the rail operator said it would take several weeks to repair coal carrying freight lines in Queensland damaged by cyclone Debbie.

Coal miner Whitehaven was up 5.4% to $3.27 after reports that damage from Cyclone Debbie would cause a spike in coal prices.

The Vita Group, a Telstra licensed dealer, fell 21% after unconfirmed reports that Telstra was thinking about taking control of some of its stores.

Shares in electronic consumer loyalty startup Rewardle jumped 11% to $0.030 after a deal with Pioneer Credit.

GetSwift shares soared after the software and logistics company signed a partnership deal with the Commonwealth Bank. They closed 49% higher at $0.73.

The top stories:

1. Jobs growth is too modest and inflation is slow to lift. The RBA leaves rates on hold as it points a finger at the property boom.

2. Consumer confidence is tanking. According new data from ANZ, consumer confidence last week hit the lowest level since October 2015.

3. Putting the brakes on speculative activity in housing. APRA’s further tightening intervention could strip billions of dollars out of household consumption.

4. Retailers need to wake up to Amazon. Appliances Online founder John Winning says those worried about the approach of Amazon probably have more of a problem with their own business

5. HK funds manager Janchor Partners grabs a stake in Bellamy’s. The Hong Kong-based hedge fund now has 5.4% of the troubled infant formula maker. Bellamy’s shares rose 6% to close at $4.47.

6. Company directors want negative gearing reform. They have proposed their own radical reforms including increasing GST.

7. A home in Sydney now costs more than 14 times average earnings. And the average home in both Sydney and Melbourne in 2037 will cost more $6 million if current price growth rates continue, according to demographers McCrindle.

8. $72 for 24 bottles of water. The fallout from cyclone Debbie.

9. Former Xero MD Chris Ridd has a new gig. He’s been appointed chief executive of fintech startup Myprosperity, just as it completes a $2.5 million investment round.

11. How office design affects your brain. Insights from the founder and director of the Future of Work Project, Libby Sanders.

12. A coffee nap. Here’s what it is and how it could supercharge your productivity.

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