Australia’s Toby Price rides a 450 Rally Replica bike during the 2017 Dakar Rally . Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Australian shares closed higher at the start of a new week.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,807.40 +51.82 +0.90%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,857.70 +48.72 +0.84%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7309 +0.0005 +0.07%

The local market broke through the 5800 mark on the ASX200, boosted by a rally in financial stocks, to 20 month highs.

The ASX200 is up 2.5% so far this month.

The fifth session of rises in a row saw bank stocks surge. The NAB was up 1.7% to $32.06 and Westpac almost 1.5% to $33.97.

The big miners dragged on the market with Rio Tinto down 1.4% to $59.35 and BHP 0.1% to $25.47.

The top stories:

1. Australian building approvals jump. Apartments led the way in November after two months of significant declines.

2. Jobs ads fell for the first time in five months. It was the first monthly decline reported by the ANZ since July last year.

3. ANZ’s Shayne Elliott streaks ahead of other big bank CEOs in his first year. The total returns for ANZ shareholders for the year to December were 15.7%, well ahead of the other big four banks, the regional banks and the ASX200 accumulation index.

4. Happy birthday iPhone. It’s now 10 years since Apple started a revolution.

5. Hunter Hall has appointed an interim CEO. The board of directors at Hunter Hall International, working with founder Peter Hall, have agreed to make chief financial officer Paula Ferrao interim CEO. Its shares closed 5% higher at $2.41.

6. Foreshadowing Australia’s official retail sales report this week. Online retail sales accelerated sharply in November, according to the National Australia Bank.

7. CSL gets approval in Europe for its haemophilia treatment. The Australian blood products and flu vaccine group won approval from the European Commission for its new treatment. Its shares closed 1.6% higher at $104.00.

8. A heatwave is headed for the east coast. On its way from central Australia down through much of South Australia, southern Queensland and New South Wales this week.

9. JPMorgan’s complete guide to everything happening in Australian and global markets. There’s a lot on.

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