AUSTRALIAN STOCKS SURGE: What you need to know

Cabaret dancers along with an Elvis impersonator wave goodbye as the Elvis Express, a dedicated train service from Sydney to the annual Parkes Elvis Festival. James D. Morgan/Getty Images

Australian shares closed higher.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,748.40 +27.28 +0.48%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,803.00 +26.20 +0.45%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7478 -0.0022 -0.29%

The local market clawed back some of the losses of last week.

Higher commodity prices pushed mining stocks higher with BHP up 1.6% to $26.77 and Rio Tinto 1.8% to $63.22.

The banks made marginal gains with Westpac adding 0.4% to $33.06.

Nanosonics, a developer of technology for infection control in hospitals, jumped 7.4% to $3.16 after posting half year sales of $36.1 million, up 131%.

The top stories:

1. Price rises are making a comeback at major supermarkets ahead of Amazon’s arrival. Prices are ticking up, especially for fresh fruit and vegetables.

2. Fitch puts Australian banks on negative watch. In its 2017 outlook report, the agency says the change reflects an increase in macroeconomic risks and pressure on profit growth.

3. Wages are growing at the slowest pace on record. The increase was 1.88% in the 12 months to September, according to the ABS quarterly wage price index.

4. A $7.37 billion takeover of Duet. the energy utility assets group has accepted a $3.03 a share bid from a consortium led by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing’s Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings (CKI). Duet shares closed 5.4% higher at$2.93.

5. Pauline Hanson has tickets to Donald Trump’s inauguration. But she says there’s too much happening in Australia.

6. The top 6 Australian brands selling into China. Vitamins dominate the league table of Australian brands selling online to China, according to a study of Tmall Global, Alibaba’s cross-border e-commerce platform.

7. Strong Christmas sales for Kogan. The latest earnings update shows the pure play online retailer is well ahead of forecasts. Its shares closed 8.7% higher at $1.62.

8. The Centrelink debt letter system is changing, a bit. While the Coalition government has refused to suspend the practice, the human services department has now made some concessions in its procedures.

9. A near miss with a great white shark in Western Australia. A travel blogger captured the moment she had an uncomfortably close encounter.

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