AUSTRALIAN STOCKS FALL: Here’s what you need to know

Australian stocks fell for a second session with a flat Wall Street and weaker commodities dragging on the miners.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,590.30 -24.27 -0.43%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,581.30 -22.23 -0.40%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7363 -0.0012 -0.16%

On Wall St, the S&P 500 closed down 0.2%. On the local market, seven out out ten sectors were weaker, adding to Wednesday’s 1.6% loss.

The big miners lost ground with BHP dropping 2.87% to $25.51 and Rio Tinto 1.67% to $51.31. Among energy stocks, Woodside Petroleum was down 1.11% to $33.72 and LNG 6.78% to $3.64.

The major banks were weaker. The ANZ lost 1.2% to $32.15 and the NAB 0.53% to $34.10.

Gold stocks jumped. Northern Star was up 3.8% to $2.18, Ocean Gold 7% to $2.75 and Newcrest 7.8% to $11.85.

The top stories Thursday:

1. Macquarie Bank looks for record profits in 2016. It sees a result better than $1.6 billion. Its shares closed up 0.41% to $84.81.

2. On target. CIMIC, the former Leighton Holdings, has won $7 billion in new orders and expects to hit its profit targets for the full 2015 financial year. CIMIC closed up 1.71% to $23.76.

3. Property investment loans get more expensive. ANZ, Australia’s third-largest bank, has increased its variable interest rate on residential property loans for investors.

4. High-growth iron ore producer. Fortescue has increased iron ore shipments by one-third but output will be flat this year. Its shares lost 6% to $1.645.

5. Global steel production is falling and the bounce in iron ore appears to be over.

6. New Zealand’s Reserve Bank has cut rates. The overnight cash rate was lowered by 25bps to 3.00%, in line with expectations.

7. Australian capital city house prices have quadrupled in the past 20 years. Risen four times more than weekly earnings.

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