STOCKS SLIDE AGAIN: Here's what you need to know

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The Australian market slumped for the second session in a row, but this time investors let bank stocks sit after Wednesday’s heavy sell off.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,645.70 -46.50 (-0.82%)
  • All Ordinaries: 5,645.10 -45.80 (-0.80%)
  • AUD/USD: 0.7989 +0.0018 (+0.23%)

In the US, the S&P 500 index closed down 0.5%. On the local market, all ten sectors closed weaker, adding another 0.82% fall to yesterday’s massive drop of 2.3%.

The Commonwealth Bank, which lost 5.68% yesterday, managed a flat close today, up 0.16% to $83.11. Westpac was down just 0.27% to $33.90 and the ANZ 0.6% to $33.01.

Among the miners, BHP was down 1.42% to $31.89 and Rio Tinto 0.98% to $58.54.

The top stories for Thursday:

1. A performance from NAB. The bank outperformed its rivals with a half year cash profit of $3.32 billion, an increase of $170 million or 5.4%. It’s also raising $5.5 billion capital through a rights issue. Its shares were in a trading halt.

2. Bank blues. The net interest rate margins of the big four banks, essentially the money they make on loans, have been squeezed to a record low of 2.03%.

3. Australian bonds are still being sold off, and have crossed an important threshold.

4. Jobs data. Loved by the dollar which went to 80 US cents. Unemployment increased to 6.2% from 6.1%, reversing a similar decline in March.

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