Jamie Whincup drives the #1 Red Bull Racing Australia Holden during practice for the Bathurst 1000. Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

The Australian market had its best weekly performance in almost four years.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,279.70 +69.30 +1.33%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,309.20 +67.78 +1.29%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7283 +0.0025 +0.34%

The five-day rally added 4.5% to the ASX index, the best week since December 2011. Energy stocks rose by about 14% and materials by 10%.

Australian stocks hit their fifth positive session in a row with the major banks, the big miners and energy stocks leading the market. All ten local sectors were in the green.

Santos was 8.5% stronger at $5.97, BHP was up 2.4% to $25.60, Rio Tinto added 3.7% to $55.18 and ANZ 1.9% to $28.46.

The top stories for Friday:

1. Housing debt is still growing at a thumping rate. Australian housing finance data came out today.

2. Three senior appointments. The recasting of the senior executive team at Telstra continues as new CEO Andrew Penn, who took over from David Thodey in May, makes his mark on Australia’s biggest telco.

3. The good stuff. The a2 milk company completed a $NZ40 million capital raising to help expand its business including pushing its successful infant formula brand Platinum into Asia and the UK. Its shares closed 10% higher at $0.715.

4. $80 a share. Macquarie Group has successfully completed a $400 million capital raising to partly pay for the $8.2 billion purchase of vehicle finance unit Esanda. Macquarie closed almost 4% higher at $80.94.

5. We already knew this, but the intelligence tests given out to job candidates generally don’t pick the best person.

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