It was another good day for the major banks, following yesterday’s announcement by APRA on minimum capital requirements. Australian shares closed higher for the second day in a row.

Today’s scoreboard:

ASX 200: 5,761.50 +29.37 (+0.51%)
All Ordinaries: 5,805.70 +26.33 (+0.46%)
AUD/USD: 0.7920 -0.0036 (-0.45%)
The Australian dollar reached a high this morning above US79.8 cents before finding resistance following the release of the June employment report this morning. Although the jobs report met expectations, mild selling of the AUD has continued this afternoon as UK markets open and the AUD is currently tracking back towards US79 cents. The benchmark S & P/ASX200 index was up 0.5 per cent at noon (AEST), with the energy sector up 1.4 per cent and financials 1.2 per cent stronger. The broader All Ordinaries index was up 27.5 points, or 0.5 per cent, at 5,806.9 points. Higher commodity prices and weakness in the US dollar were keeping the Australian dollar at its two year highs, trading at US79.60 cents at noon (AEST). The energy producers were boosted by a rise in oil prices, and Santos was the best performer after also improving its full year sales and production forecasts, up 7.5 per cent to $32.50. The big four banks continue to rise after the release yesterday of softer- than-expected new capital rules by the prudential regulator. ANZ was the best of the four, up 2.5 per cent, and Commonwealth Bank had posted the most modest gain, of 0.6 per cent. Myer was one of the weakest stocks on the market, plunging 8.3 per cent to 74.75 cents after announcing a $45.6 million hit from writing off its stake in Topshop’s Australian franchisee and impairing the value of its struggling sass & bide brand. Infant formula maker Bellamy’s Australia was down 8.9 per cent to $6.10 after its shares emerged from a two-week hiatus related to its offer of refunds for a $60.4 million capital raising to fund the purchase of a canning facility.