AUSTRALIAN STOCKS THUMPED: Here's what you need to know

Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images

Australian stocks were hit hard, sliding for the second session this week, with the banks again leading the falls.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX 200: 5,667.50 -87.37 -1.52%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,708.10 -83.97 -1.45%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7495 +0.0008 +0.11%

The local market dropped through the key 5700 mark on the ASX200 and kept going, adding to Monday’s 0.57% fall. Wall Street closed slightly lower overnight with the S&P500 down 0.1%.

On the ASX, all sectors were in the red as the market recorded its biggest fall since March.

Westpac was down 1.3% to $29.55, the NAB 1.6% to $29.27, the ANZ 1.6% to $27.36 and the Commonwealth 1.4% to $78.15.

Macquarie shed 2.2% to $86.18 and the AMP 1.5% to $5.00.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank was down almost 3% to $10.38 after broker downgrades.

Among the miners, BHP dropped 1.3% to $23.34, Woodside Petroleum 1.1% to $31.50 and Santos 3.3% to $3.16.

Computershare was down 2.5% to $14.35

The top stories:

1. Interest rates steady. The RBA maintained a neutral bias on the outlook for interest rates but said: “Slow growth in real wages is restraining growth in household consumption.”

2. The risk of Australia recording another negative growth quarter. The last of Australia’s March quarter GDP inputs have just been released, and it’s not good news.

3. The days of rapid house price growth are over. Economists at the ANZ Bank say growth will slow sharply due to higher interest rates and tighter macroprudential regulation.

4. Another 59 cents an hour. Australia’s minimum wage earners got a 3.3% pay rise.

5. More cuts ahead at Murray Goulburn. Australia’s largest milk processor announced a review looking at strategy and corporate structure, including the profit sharing mechanism and capital structure. The coops unit trusts fell 14.5% to $0.735.

6. Humans, not computers, are the biggest problem in cybersecurity. Criminals are now relying more on manipulating human behaviour.

7. Pimping NBN speeds. The National Broadband Network has announced it tested new technology that reached 1Gbps download speeds over pay television cables.

8. Lexus launches a $200,000 grand tourer. A 2+2 coupe it hopes will attract buyers looking at rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz SL or BMW 6 series.

9. Why flying cars will always be awful. There’s a reason why real estate is cheapest near highways, train lines and under flight paths.

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