AUSTRALIAN STOCKS SURGE: What you need to know

Perpetual LOYAL crew celebrate at Constitution Dock after winning the 2016 Sydney To Hobart. Heath Holden/Getty Images

Australian shares took off when the local market reopened after the Christmas break.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,685.00 +57.05 +1.01%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,732.40 +57.27 +1.01%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7204 +0.0018 +0.25%

The Santa rally saw the ASX200 come within a handful of points of 5700 before slipping back again.

The index is up almost 4.5% so far this month.

The big miners led the charge with BHP 3.2% higher at $25.44 and Rio Tinto 2.3% to $60.17.

Pure play iron ore miner Fortescue Metals was up 3.4% to $5.97.

The major banks were mixed with the Commonwealth almost 1% higher at $83.31 but with the ANZ down 0.3% to $30.63.

The top stories:

1. Star fund manager Peter Hall departs. Hall is about to step down as chief investment officer of Hunter Hall, the ASX-listed ethical investment company he founded.

2. Slater and Gordon reports progress negotiating with its banks. The law firm says it has reached agreement to make further amendments to its bank finance facilities.

3. Woolworths servos go to BP Australia. The troubled supermarket group closed a $1.785 billion deal.

4. Become a millionaire by age 30. You don’t have to found the next Facebook or Snapchat, or win a Powerball jackpot, to do so.

5. Insights from 15 books on happiness, productivity and success. Tips from psychology and behavioural science.

6. Things about Australian working culture that can surprise foreigners. We asked some foreigners what takes them aback about working in Australia.

7. Perpetual LOYAL smashes the Sydney to Hobart record. The supermaxi crossed the finish line off Hobart at 2.31 am, beating the time set by Wild Oats XI by 4 hours, 51 minutes and 52 seconds.

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