AUSTRALIAN STOCKS UP ALMOST 2% FOR THE WEEK: Here's what you need to know

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Australian stocks ended the day down but closed the week near 23-month highs.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX 200: 5,864.90 -31.33 -0.53%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,903.80 -28.04 -0.47%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7647 +0.0006 +0.08%

The market gained considerable ground over the five days of trading despite a weak close on Friday. The ASX200 was 1.9% ahead for the local market’s best week of 2017 so far.

The banks were the fuel behind the ASX’s rise this week. They’ve risen about 3%.

Westpac closed at $35.06, down 0.5% today but up 3.4% this week, and the Commonwealth at $85.91, up 3% over the five days.

Myer was 0.4% higher today at $1.22, for a 16% rise over the week after billionaire Solomon Lew’s Premier Investments bought a 10.7% stake.

The top stories:

1. Tighter restrictions on home loan lenders. APRA, Australia’s banking regulator, announced further measures to control financial risks in the property market.

2. Signs that Australian housing credit is starting to slow. Private sector credit figures released by the Reserve Bank of Australia today.

3. A push by big banks to collectively bargain over Apple Pay has failed. The ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) has held its ground.

4. Private equity floats on the ASX have done better than many think. From the start of 2013, private equity IPOs have delivered average gains of more than 33%, according to analysis by Deloitte in its 2017 IPO report.

5. Trying to get the jump on Qantas. Virgin Australia starts inflight wi-fi trials in April.

6. Australia’s first startup accelerator for the creative industries. The Collider Accelerator Program will target areas such as “wearable technology, virtual and augmented reality, 3D printing, robotics, games, interactive content, music tech, IoT, film and digital media”.

7. Some small business are looking forward to Amazon. The majority of products listed on Amazon involve third-party sellers via its Market Place platform, creating an opportunity for smaller businesses.

8. NBN has doubled the top speed for wireless broadband. Many rural Australians are about to get the NBN via a wireless connection.

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