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

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Australian stocks closed marginally lower.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX 200: 5,950.40 -6.12 -0.10%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,971.40 -5.03 -0.08%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7529 +0.0003 +0.04%

The local market closed just inside negative territory, taking back a little of the gains of Monday’s session but still leaving the ASX200 well above the key 5900 point level.

The banks lost ground, led by the ANZ which posted a solid profit rise but with weaker margins. ANZ shares dropped 2.1% to close at $32.25.

Westpac fell 0.9% to $34.98 and the Commonwealth 0.7% to $86.83.

Shares in troubled infant formula maker Bellamy’s jumped 11.8% to close at $6.04.

The top stories:

1. IBM drops 1000 jobs in Australia. IBM Australia cut 15% from its Australian work force in 2016, according to its latest financial report.

2. ANZ bank lifts profit 23%. The bank posted a cash profit of $3.41 billion for the half year.

3. Sydney’s second airport. The federal government says it will build Sydney’s airport, expected to cost $3 billion, after the owners of the existing Kingsford Smith Airport turned down the rights to the project.

4. The ANZ is going all startup in its management style. The fundamental change will see the bank adopt what is called scaled agile, a system more usually seen in the IT department or at tech startups.

5. Woolworths smashes its supermarket sales growth numbers. In its latest quarterly report to April 2, food sales rose 5.1% to $9.27 billion. Its shares closed at $27.35, up 1.1%.

6. Murray Goulburn closes dairy processing centres. Hundreds of jobs to go and millions cut in overheads. Its unit trusts lost 14% on the ASX to close at $0.89.

7. Plutus Payroll shuts. The service paying Australian technology contractors stopped operating, leaving many anxious about their pay cheque.

8. Gonski 2.0. The federal government has increased its offer to fund public and private schools in a bid to end a stalemate with the states over education.

9. Budget 2017. University fees will rise by nearly four times the inflation rate.

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