Jobs remain steady but fall in VIC- ABS: Aus shares close 0.5% higher

Market Reports

by Ortenzia Borre

The Australian share market rose at the open closing 0.5 per cent up at the end of trade.

James Hardie Industries (ASX:JHX) led the top 200 gains at for the session and was Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) led the losses for the day.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 29 points higher to finish at 6,139.

Futures market 

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 156 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a lift of 8 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a rise of 42 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 29 point lift tomorrow morning.

Local economic news

The number of payroll jobs nationwide remained steady throughout July but Victoria saw a fall, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today. Bjorn Jarvis, head of Labour Statistics at the ABS, said, “Payroll jobs remained 4.5 per cent below mid-March, when Australia recorded its 100th confirmed COVID-19 case.” Payroll jobs fell by 1.5 per cent in Victoria through July ahead of the introduction of Stage 4 COVID-19 restrictions in the state, with total job losses of 6.7 per cent from mid-March. 

It was recorded that 40 per cent of jobs lost in Victoria by mid-April had been regained by 25 June, but by the end of July this had reduced to 24 per cent. The hospitality and arts industries were the two most impacted by payroll job losses during the COVID-19 period but they saw the largest increases in payroll jobs since mid-April with accommodation and food services rising 26.6 per cent and jobs in the arts sector up 18.2 per cent. Payroll jobs worked by people aged under 20 increased 4.2 per cent nationally through July.

Looking at some more headlines:

Sydney Airport (ASX:SYD) has launched a $2 billion equity raising after reporting a $53.6 million loss after income tax for the six months to June 30.

CIMIC Group’s (ASX:CIM) CPB Contractors has been awarded two contracts worth $128 million for resources and water projects located in Western Australia and Queensland. The contracts are for The Iron Bridge Magnetite Project and Sunwater, a Queensland Government-owned water service provider, for works at Paradise Dam near Bundaberg.

1300 Smiles (ASX:ONT) emerged from the Covid-19 shutdown reporting net profit down 8 per cent to $7.1 million on sales down 3 per cent to $57.1 million.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Real Estate Investment Trusts adding 2.1 per cent while the worst performing sector was Information Technology shedding just over 2 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was James Hardie Industries (ASX:JHX), rising 6.8 per cent to close at $32.22. Shares in NRW Holdings (ASX:NWH) and Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX:FLT) followed.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Mesoblast (ASX:MSB), dropping 31 per cent to close at $3.36 cents. Shares in Challenger (ASX:CGF) and Silver Lake Resources (ASX:SLR) followed lower.

Asian markets

All higher: Japan’s Nikkei has added 1.9 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng also added 2.3 per cent and the Shanghai Composite is 0.1 per cent up.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$2,003 an ounce.
Iron ore price is steady at US$119.21.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 1.8 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.19 up at US$42.13 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.65 US cents.