STOCKS GO NOWHERE: Here's what you need to know

Australia’s Tim Reed competes in the bike leg during the Challenge Triathlon Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images for Challenge Triathlon

The Australian market came within a handful of points of hitting 6000 on the ASX 200 but lost its way as resource stocks fell again on bad economic news from China.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,960.30 -8.07 (-0.14%)
  • All Ordinaries: 5,928.10 -7.26 (-0.12%)
  • AUD/USD: 0.7604 -0.0079 (-1.02%)

In the US, the S&P 500 index closed 0.5% higher on Friday. On the local market, five sectors were lower and five were higher. The banks were flat and the miners sharply lower on the poor trade data from China.

BHP was down 2.3% to $29.43, Rio Tinto 2.9% to $55.24 and Fortescue Metals 2.4% to $1.77.

The top stories Monday:

1. China posted an ugly set of trade data for March, with both exports and imports missing badly, and the Australian dollar got smashed.

2. The return. Nathan Tinkler joined a small resources company, Rumble Resources, as an adviser getting paid in options, and its shares took off, closing up 40% to $0.077.

3. The Atlas Iron problem is spreading. McAleese, a transport group, today went into a trading halt while it works out the operational and financial implications of a customer mothballing its operations.

4. Australian biotech surges. US-based Celgene Corporation is spending $58.5 million to buy about 4.7% of Mesoblast and get access to its anti-cancer drugs. Mesoblast shares closed up 24.3% to $3.99.

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