STOCKS GO BANANAS: Everything you need to know

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What a difference two days make! After looking like it was going to implode on the back of a meltdown in mining stocks, Australia’s ASX 200 index enjoyed another stellar session on Thursday, rallying close to 2%.

Here’s the scoreboard.

  • ASX 200 5112.10 , 90.47 , 1.80%
  • All Ords 5144.10 , 85.50 , 1.69%
  • AUD/USD 0.7048 , 0.0031 , 0.44%

Combined with Wednesday’s 2.11% increase, the ASX 200 has now put on 3.94% in just two trading sessions – not a bad effort given the doom and gloom seen earlier in the week.

All sectors finished in the black with the strongest gains coming from the energy and materials sectors, which closed up 2.61% and 1.91%.

Aside from healthcare all other sectors closed with gains of more than 1%.

The big four banks all finished with gains of more than 1.6% while the two big miners – BHP and Rio – closed up 2.07% and 2.02% respectively.

Of the other market favourites Telstra, Wesfarmers and Woolworth’s added 1.78%, 1.68% and 2.66% apiece.

The top stories for Thursday:

1. The IMF released their latest report card on Australia and the Australian economy overnight that included an epic chart book on the current state of Australia’s residential property market. If you’re a property owner in Australia, or looking to buy or sell, this report is definitely for you.

2. China’s manufacturing sector continued to contract in September, although at a pace slower than what had been expected. If you’re looking for the chief catalyst behind today’s stock market surge, you’ll find the reasoning here.

3. Mike Smith has stepped down as CEO of ANZ bank and will be replaced by Shayne Elliott, the bank’s current chief financial officer.

4. Large Japanese firms plan to increase spending at the fastest pace in nearly a decade in the current fiscal year. Sentiment among non-manufacturing firms also hit the highest level seen in 24 years.

5. Australian manufacturing sector is expanding faster than any other nation in Asia. Not a bad performance all things considered.

6. Microsoft has announced the grand opening dates for its first flagship store in Sydney — the first outside of North America. The store will open on Thursday November 12, following the launch of its New York store on Fifth Avenue.

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