AUSTRALIAN STOCKS SURGE: What you need to know

Joel Parkinson at Snapper Rocks ahead of this month’s Gold Coast Quiksilver Pro. Matt Roberts/Getty Images

The Australian market ripped higher.

Here’s today’s scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 4,992.00 +109.90 +2.25%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,047.10 +108.73 +2.20%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7156 -0.0029 -0.40%

The market broke back through 4900 points on the ASX 200 but couldn’t quite get through the next level, 5000.

Three out of four trading sessions this week have closed in positive territory, adding up to 4.75% of gains. However, the market is still down 5.7% since the start of 2016.

Local investors followed Wall Street’s lead where higher oil prices overnight caused a rally in energy stocks. The S&P 500 closed 1.7% higher and markets across Asia followed with Japan’s Nikkei 225 up 2.9% and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong more than 2%.

On the local market, nine out 10 sectors were ahead, with energy stocks jumping more than 5%.

BHP was 6.07% higher at $16.95. Santos added 7.6% to $3.54 and Woodside Petroleum 4.48% to $28.75. Pure play iron ore miner Fortescue Metals was up 11.4% to $2.09.

The major banks were all up more than 2% with the Commonwealth 2.7% higher at $74.28 and Westpac 2.78% to $29.98.

The top stories Thursday:

1. Rate cuts are coming. Tim Toohey, chief economist at Goldman Sachs in Australia, believes the RBA is going to be “dragged into a deeper easing cycle”.

2. The jobs are gone. Australian employment growth has missed expectations in January, falling by 7,900 against expectations for an increase of 13,000.

3. China develops a taste for Penfolds and Wolf Blass. Treasury Wine Estates posted a 42% rise in statutory net profit to $60.6 million for the six months on sales up 22% to $1,138 billion. Its shares closed 4% higher at $9.10.

4. Those tourists keep coming. Sydney Airport plans bigger dividends with its full year profit jumping 378.8% to $283 million as tourists from China and the rest of the world flowed through the main gateway to Australia. Sydney airport closed 2.65% higher at $6.59.

5. Falling flat. Telstra is winning more mobile phone customers and boosting revenue but has posted a flat 0.4% rise in net profit to $2.093 billion for the half year to December. Its shares were up just 0.56% to $5.40.

6. Wealth management growth. AMP posted a 10% rise in profit to $972 million for the full year to December. AMP closed 4.8% higher at $5.43.

7. A winning cable. Foxtel’s total subscribers have risen from 2.6 million to nearly 2.9 million in the first half of 2016, a rise of 8.1%, despite analysts believing the entry of Netflix and its estimated 1 million Australian customers would spell hard times for the company.

8. Piracy test case. Village Roadshow will be leading several big Hollywood studios in the Australian Federal Court as they try to get a first piracy website blocked under the government’s new Copyright Amendment Act for the first time.

9. A 7% stake. AMP, the big financial services group, is now the biggest player in providing services to self managed superannuation funds (SMSF).

10. Home loan arrears. The number of Australian homeowners in arrears on their home loan is rising, according to the latest data from credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s.

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