AUSTRALIAN STOCKS SLIP: What you need to know

A man walks past the Reserve Bank of Australia sign in Sydney. William West/AFP/Getty Images

Australian stocks closed lower.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,413.60 -15.98 -0.29%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,510.40 -14.02 -0.25%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7622 +0.0040 +0.53%

The ASX 200 lost some of the 1% gains of Monday but kept its nose above the key support level of 5400 points. Seven sectors were in the red.

The market was dampened by a range of companies, including Medibank, IAG and Blackmores, going ex-dividend.

The banks were mixed with the NAB up 02.9% to $27.70 but the Commonwealth down 0.76% to $71.76.

Aged care providers Regis, Estia and Japara today regained some of the big losses of Monday that were sparked by regulatory changes. Regis closed 3.5% higher at $3.83, Estia 5.4% to $2.93 and Japara 6$ to $1.84.

The top stories:

1. Steady as she goes. The Reserve Bank of Australia, as expected by markets and economists alike, left interest rates at 1.5% at the conclusion of its September monetary policy meeting.

2. Next is GDP. While we’re yet to receive the largest component — household consumption — Australia’s Q2 GDP report, due out tomorrow, is suddenly looking good.

3. Private Pizza Hut. Allegro, a private equity fund manager, and a local management team of fast food experts has done a deal to take over running Pizza Hut in Australia.

4. The Dick Smith stock disaster. The electronics retailer had stockpiled enough AA batteries to last 12 years.

5. JB Hi-Fi may still have a chance at the Good Guys. JB Hi-Fi confirmed it is still working on a deal to buy the homewares chain the Good Guys. JB Hi-Fi shares gained 5.5% to close at $30.87.

6. Follow the money. Australia’s underperforming market is driving local investors to send money offshore.

7. Suburban dreaming. Australia has 5 of the world’s 20 least affordable cities in which to buy a home.

8. Foreign investment. Brian Wilson, the chairman of Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board, has just landed a job as senior advisor to the Carlyle Group’s Asia buyout team.

9. Financially unsustainable. Australia’s national architecture advisory firm Archicentre has gone bust, right in the middle of the property boom.