Australian stocks closed the session higher but lost the month.
Here’s the scoreboard:
- S&P ASX 200: 5,005.50 +29.34 +0.59%
- All Ordinaries: 5,056.60 +28.53 +0.57%
- AUD/USD: 0.7116 +0.0032 +0.45%
The ASX 200 index managed to close the month above the key 5000 mark but still lost almost 5.5% in January, the worst start to a year since 2010.
When there’s a significant fall such as this, the following month usually ends on a high. Or it has four out of five times in the past.
Today the local market swung from negative to positive territory during the day’s trading. Six out of ten sectors closed the day higher, led by energy stocks which gained more than 5%.
The rise today was helped by the Bank of Japan stunning global markets by announcing negative interest rates.
Woodside Petroleum was up almost 6% to $27.95 and Santos 7.4% to $3.160.
The major banks all added weight with the NAB leading the pack up 2% to $27.66. BHP was up 1.6% to $15.35.
The top stories for Thursday:
1. Getting paid to borrow. The Bank of Japan just stunned global markets by announcing negative interest rates.
2. Another listed lawyer in trouble. Shine Lawyers cut earnings guidance in half to between $24 million and $28 million, down from $54 million. Its shares dropped 73% to close at $0.535.
3. Love for Fortescue. Investors rewarded Fortescue after the iron ore miner hit cost-cutting targets six months early. Its shares closed at $1.73, more than 13% higher.
4. Iron ore blues. According to its quarterly production report, Atlas Iron drops about $3 for every tonne of ore it digs out of the ground. Its debt to equity deal with lenders, when closed, will fix that. Its shares closed 6.7% higher at $0.016.
5. The costs of giving. Shane Warne has announced he’s closing down the charity bearing his name following recent heavy media scrutiny over the cost of running the foundation he formed in 2004.
6. Rebalancing. Women outnumber men on a new Victorian government startup board.
7. The best jobs. Banking and finance jobs in Australia are getting the best pay rises in 2016.
8. Meet the Pfitzners. The first Australian family to get a Tesla Powerwall on their house.