Australia’s Grant Irvine in the first Semifinal of the Men’s 200m Butterfly at the Rio Olympic Games. Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Australian stocks kept their gains.

The scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,552.50 +14.66 +0.26%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,636.70 +10.99 +0.20%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7631 -0.0020 -0.26%

The local market kept ahead by a nose, buoyed by a surge from the major banks, and adding to Monday’s 0.73% gain.

The ANZ bank led the big four, rising 2.88% to close at $26.44. The NAB was up 2.2% to $26.82, Westpac 1.8% to $30.99 and the Commonwealth 1.55% to $78.41.

IOOF shares lost 7.6% to close at $8.60 after the funds and wealth manager reported flat full year revenue of $907.8 million. Underlying net profit after tax at $173.4 million was in line with May guidance.

Cochlear lost 2.8% to $125.00 despite the bionic ear company increasing full year profit by 30% to $188.9 million and giving guidance of a 10% to 20% rise this year.

The REA Group posted a 20% rise in full year profit to $253 million but listings at were down. Its shares closed at $59.52, down 1.1%.

Transurban, Australia’s largest toll operator, closed down 1.4% to $11.90 after posting an 18.8% rise in full year revenue to $2.21 billion. Statutory net profit was $99 million, up from a loss of $182 million.

The top stories:

1. Where to now for rates? The NAB sees two more RBA rate cuts and “the possibility of unconventional monetary policy”.

2. Low growth ahead. ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott has warned of subdued conditions as the bank posts a 3% drop in cash profit to $5.2 billion for the nine months to June.

3. Australian consumer confidence tumbled. The weekly ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index slid 2.8% to 114.7, leaving it at the lowest level since early June.

4. And this is why ANZ didn’t pass on a full interest rate cut. Shayne Elliott has five times more depositors than borrowers.

5. Luxury apartments are planned for David Jones in Sydney. The David Jones Market Street building, which has long been the store’s menswear centre, is to be redeveloped.

6. Tests show Mesoblast’s stem cell treatment working against arthritis. The Australian biotech says the treatment is well-positioned to advance through a strategic partnership into development. Its shares added 6.6% to close at $1.21.

7. Day 2 of the Chinese media attacks on Australia. The outrage over Australian swimmer Mack Horton calling his rival Sun Yang a drug cheat.

8. Short-sellers have Flight Centre in their sights. Flight Centre came out of nowhere this week to post an short interest ratio of 44.

9. Tonight’s Australian census is starting to look like a train wreck. Also read: The Turnbull government’s handling of the Census shows it learned nothing from Mediscare.

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