AUSTRALIAN STOCKS LIFT AGAIN: What you need to know

Australia stocks closed higher for the third day in a row.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,118.60 +63.95 +1.27%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,187.70 +60.51 +1.18%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7654 +0.0001 +0.01%

The ASX 200 broke through the 5100 point mark as the major banks and the big miners rallied again, following a stronger Wall Street where the S&P500 closed 1% higher.

The market has now moved into positive territory for April, up about 0.7%, and the losses since the start of 2016 have narrowed to about 3.3%.

Westpac broke back above $30 a share again today, closing at $30.73, up 2.6% on the day. BHP jumped 5.4% to $18.87, adding to yesterday’s 6% gain.

The top stories Thursday:

1. Lowest unemployment since 2013. Australia’s labour market roared back to life in March with employment growth and unemployment both beating expectations.

2. More bad debt provisions coming. Australia’s big four banks have an exposure of more than $3 billion from a handful of recent high profile corporate collapses.

3. Australia’s AAA rating is at risk. Moody’s Investor Services says the government’s aim of balancing the Federal Budget by 2021 is “unlikely” without revenue measures.

4. The focus of the 2016 budget. Scott Morrison has flagged budget changes to education, welfare, and health spending

5. A leaking boat. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s has confirmed its surprise decision to cut an official interest rate last month was leaked by a journalist to colleagues and to an economics blogger.

6. A share price recovery. Bellamy’s says its infant formula sales in China shows no sign of stopping despite changes to local regulations. Its shares gained 7.1% to close at $10.04.

7. The death of coal in the US? The biggest source of power in the US has finally been unseated and it may be a sign of things to come.

8. Ditching the mixmaster. GUD Holdings is shedding its majority holding in its under-performing Sunbeam brand, part of a strategy to withdrawal from small appliances. GUD closed 9.7% higher at $7.92.

9. A backyard hoist. Hills, the company behind the Australian backyard rotary clothes hoist, confirmed it’s on track for a better earnings forecast. Its closed 42% higher at $0.185. Hills clsoed at $0.185, up 42%.

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