AUSTRALIAN STOCKS SLIP: What you need to know

South Africa’s first Strongman obstacle race . Rodger Bosch/AFP/Getty Images

Australian shares lost ground.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,452.90 -31.10 -0.57%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,537.00 -32.89 -0.59%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7631 +0.0011 +0.14%

The ASX followed global markets lower on on concerns central banks will reduce stimulus. However, the ASX 200 index kept its nose above the key 5400 point Level.

Shares in gold miners were hit hard with the price of gold taking a steep fall.

Oceanagold dropped 13.5% to $3.64, Northern Star 10% to $4.04, Evolution 7.9% to $2.33 and Saint Barbara 7.6% to $2.90.

Shares in graphite producer Syrah Resources fell 22% to $3.35 after managing director Tolga Kumova resigned, reflecting an “evolving strategic direction”.

The stop stories:

1. That blokey culture at the ANZ Bank. Shayne Elliott, the CEO, has agreed that there’s been some appalling behaviour by a few at his bank. Also read: Elliott says sorry for the bank’s failings.

2. The flow of cash is easing. The banks are starting to pull back from donating to Australia’s political parties.

3. The benefits of holding back. Here’s how much Australia’s banks made by delaying the RBA’s interest rate cuts.

4. Most of the slowdown in global trade is about weak growth. The IMF, in its latest quarterly economic outlook, says “the slowdown in trade growth since 2012 is to a significant extent, but not entirely, consistent with the overall weakness in economic activity”.

5. Frequent flyer point envy. Australia’s accommodation industry is furious with Qantas for its Airbnb deal.

6. A good number. Australian retail sales smashed expectations in August, rising 0.4% to $25.128 billion in seasonally adjusted terms.

7. Household debt could be holding us back. A chart showing annual growth in retail turnover is continuing to slow.

8. Call yourself Mx if you don’t like Mr or Ms. HIF, a not-for-profit Perth-based health insurer, has decided to allow members to record their gender as neither male nor female, a first for the health insurance industry.

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