Jobless rate remains steady: ASX tracking 0.3% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market dropped at the open following soft leads from Wall Street and is now tracking 0.3 per cent lower at noon. Shares in Lendlease (ASX:LLC) shot up today after they announced their agreement with Google in the US. They will help develop three major areas in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. Jobless rate steady in June despite small lift in employment. The Information Technology sector is leading the way and the Energy sector trailing behind.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 20 points down at 6,653. On the futures market the SPI is 15 points lower.

Local economic news

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained steady at 5.2 per cent in June 2019, while the underemployment rate decreased by 0.4 percentage points to 8.2 per cent. The seasonally adjusted participation rate remained steady at 66.0 per cent, and the number of persons employed increased by less than 1,000 persons.

Company news

Byron Energy (ASX:BYE) has been advised that Metgasco has exercised the 10.0 million options it holds over unissued Byron shares, at $0.25 per security, with an expiry date of 21 July 2019, in accordance with the option terms. Byron and Metgasco have also agreed to conclude Metgasco’s financial exposure to the South Marsh Island 74 project. Byron will cap Metgasco’s additional costs for the drilling of SM74 D14 well at $1.75m, in addition to $US 4.5 million already contributed by Metgasco. Shares in Byron Energy (ASX:BYE) are 4.8 per cent higher at $0.22.

Lake Resources (ASX:LKE) announced today consistently high grade lithium brines from the base of the current discovery hole extending the lithium brine zone to 288 metres wide at its Cauchari Lithium Brine Project in Argentina. The results are consistent with similar results from the adjoining billion-dollar major projects advancing towards production at Cauchari, in the heart of the Lithium Triangle including Ganfeng/Lithium Americas (LAC) and the Advantage Lithium (AAL)/ Orocobre joint venture. The drillhole is now being extended at depth. Shares in Lake Resources (ASX:LKE) are 6.6 per cent higher at $0.07.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Information Technology, adding 0.7 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Energy, shedding 1.8 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Lendlease Group (ASX:LLC), rising 4.6 per cent to $14.75, followed by shares in Saracen Mineral Holdings (ASX:SAR) and Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is CIMIC Group (ASX:CIM), dropping 18.9 per cent to $37.11, followed by shares in Magellan Financial Group (ASX:MFG) and Oil Search (ASX:OSH).

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 1.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has shed 0.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.7 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,423 an ounce.
Iron ore price fell 0.7 per cent to US$121.27
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.3 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 70.17 US cents.