AUSTRALIAN STOCKS SLIP: What you need to know

Australia’s Mathew Belcher and Will Ryan on their way to winning silver in the Men’s 470 class at the Rio Games. Clive Mason/Getty Images

Australian stocks closed the session, and the week, marginally weaker.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,515.50 -26.39 -0.48%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,607.40 -24.03 -0.43%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7643 +0.0025 +0.33%

The local market stumbled to a negative close, as the world waits for some indication of a timetable for interest rates rises in the US from tonight’s speech by Fed chair Janet Yellen.

The ASX 200 lost 11 points, or 0.2%, this week.

Today major banks and the big miners lost weight. The Commonwealth Bank dropped 1% to close at $73.26, while BHP was down 0.7% to $20.88 and Woodside Petroleum 0.6% to $29.68.

Woolworths lost 1% to close at $24.90 after yesterday’s $1.5 billion full year loss.

Mayne Pharma added 3.4% to close at $1.98 after posting a 379% rise in profit to $37.4 million.

The top stories:

1. Saving Australian Geographic stores. The Co-op, the university book retailer, has bought the network of Australian Geographic stores from Myer Family Investments.

2. Reinventing a newspaper company. APN News & Media posted a half year loss of $256.9 million and held back dividends as it transforms from a newspaper group to a radio and outdoor media company. Its shares lost 4.8% to close at $3.76.

3. More airline bonuses. Air New Zealand staff picked up bonuses today as the airline posted a record after tax profit of $NZ463 million ($A433 million), a rise of 42%.

4. Retail restructuring. Super Retail, the owner of Rebel, Super Cheap Auto, BCF and Rays, posted a 22.6% fall in full year profit to $62.8 million as the group restructures some divisions and prepares for expansion. Its shares jumped 6% to close at $10.40.

5. Regulation gets to Cabcharge results. Cabcharge posted 45% fall in full year profit to $25.61 million as it writes down the value of its taxi licence portfolio and gets hit by new regulations for lower service fees. Its shares dropped 10% to close at $3.27.

6. Changing tastes. Coca-Cola Amatil, the maker of Coke in Australia, today released its half year results showing a 7.8% increase in profit to $198.2 million. Its shares lost 4.3% to close at $9.17.

7. The facts and fiction of Australia’s lithium boom. The frenzied search for more lithium, a key ingredient in batteries to store solar power and to drive electric cars, has reignited the entrepreneurial spirit of an Australian mining industry.

8. Powerful drones. A drone revolution may have just begun on a farm in the middle of Tasmania.

9. For the weekend. Five great Australian books everyone should read.

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