BANKS DUMPED: Here's what you need to know

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The Australian market closed higher but was held back by bank stocks as investors sold down financials after Westpac posted a flat half year profit result.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,827.50 +13.10 (+0.23%)
  • All Ordinaries: 5,827.50 +13.10 (+0.23%)
  • AUD/USD: 0.7839 -0.0005 (-0.06%)

In the US, the S&P 500 index closed up 1.1%. On the local market, nine out ten sectors were up but financial stocks weighed heavy.

Westpac got hosed today, down 3.08% to $35.60, leading falls in the major banks. The ANZ was off 2.67% to $33.24, the NAB 1.41% to $36.29 and the Commonwealth 1.02% to $88.01.

BHP was up 2.62% to $33.35 and Rio Tinto 2.76% to $59.90.

The top stories for Monday:

1. Bank wake up call. Westpac first half cash profit below expectations with a flat $3.77 billion.

2. Commodity blues. WorleyParsons has cut its profit forecast in half as the global commodity price meltdown hits the Australian engineering group. Its shares close 9.6% down at $10.35.

3. Listing premium. Shares in MYOB jumped 7% to $3.92 as the accountancy software vendor re-listed on the ASX at midday today. The shares closed at $3.89.

4. A leak? ASIC’s dollar trading investigation does little to quell chatter of a potential RBA leak.

5. Tea leaf reading. Job adverts are the highest in more than two years and the surge in building approvals continues. The TD Securities monthly inflation gauge for April moved up but within expectations.

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