AUSTRALIAN STOCKS SURGE: What you need to know

Coldplay performs at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. Marc Grimwade/Getty Images

Australian stocks closed higher for a second session in a row.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,478.10 +49.41 +0.91%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,535.40 +48.83 +0.89%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7429 -0.0032 -0.43%

The local market shrugged off concerns about a weak September quarter GDP number to push ahead on the promise that interest rates would stay low longer.

Eight out ten of ten sectors were higher, adding to Tuesday 0.52% rise.

The major banks and the big miners led the rally. Energy stocks fell along with oil prices.

The Commonwealth Bank was up 1.65% to close at $79.30 and Westpac 1.5% to $31.48.

Rio Tinto was up 2.8% to close at $60.83 while BHP added almost 1% to $25.73.

Origin Energy shares were down 2.5% to $6.41 after analysts gave a less than enthusiastic response to the company’s plans to float off assets on the ASX.

The top stories:

1. The economy slows. Australian economic growth tumbled in the September quarter, logging the largest contraction seen since the global financial crisis. Also read: Treasurer Scott Morrison’s statement: The very real risks to the economy.

2. A wake up call. Here’s what economists are saying about Australia’s shockingly weak GDP report. Also read: Australia’s quarterly GDP decline was the largest since the GFC.

3. The head of Bunnings is going. Wesfarmers veteran senior executive John Gillam is stepping down after 12 years as managing director of the hardware business. Wesfarmers shares closed at $40.38, up 0.4%.

4. TPG Telecom confirms the telco is tracking against guidance. At the company’s AGM today, shareholders were told year-to-date results were tracking well against forecasts. Its shares closed at $7.22, up almost 7%.

5. Selling cannabis cosmetics. MGC Pharmaceuticals has enlisted a Revlon executive to accelerate the global roll out of its MGC Derma skin care products. The company’s shares were steady at $0.044.

6. This super fund for public servants turned a $70 million profit thanks to Trump’s election victory. The Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation manages $38 billion worth of nest eggs.

7. Australian IPOs have returned 35.85% in 2016 so far. And the ASX200 has gained just 2.7% for the calendar year to date.

8. The ATO’s virtual assistant has already answered almost a million enquiries this year. The Australian Taxation Office is pushing forward with its “digital by default” strategy.

9. Uber now wants to know where you’re going after you finish your ride. The latest update to the popular ride-sharing app Uber has copped criticism for a new feature that may impinge on the privacy of its users.

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