Midday: Aus shares gain on jobs data

Market Reports

The Australian share market pushed higher on open this morning following gains in Europe but defying losses in the US. The morning’s gains accelerated as news from the ABS showed the unemployment rate dipped slightly to 6.3 per cent for February.
 
The local market is 0.86 per cent higher at midday. The telco sector led the market higher while utilities were a drag on the market today.
 
The S&P/ASX 200 indexis 49 points up at 5,842. On the futures market the SPI is 53 points higher.

Economic news

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has shown the unemployment rate dropped 0.1 per cent, with its Labour Force figures for February reporting welcome jobs growth for the month.
 
Company news
 
Shares in Pharmaxis Limited (ASX:PXS) have jumped today on news it’s signed an options agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim for the distribution of an SSAO inhibitor. The pharmaceutical company says Boehringer’s key interest relates to a non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and treatment has a potential market in excess of $3.5 billion. The company (Boehringer) has been granted an exclusive option to acquire world-wide rights to the inhibitor, it will expire on 15 May 2015 and Pharmaxis was paid $1.8 million for the option. Shares in Pharmaxis are trading up 64.63 per cent at $0.14 
 
Mineral explorer Nemex Resources Limited (ASX:NXR) has exercised its option to acquire a further 10 per cent interest in Wavefront Biometric Technologies. The company says the deal will increase its holding to 40 per cent and is now focussed on improving performance of the system, completing independent testing of the technology and finalising patent applications of the new intellectual property. Shares in Nemex are trading down1.1 per cent at $0.09 
 
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is telco services, gaining 1.1 per cent to 2,199. Shares in TPG Telecom Limited (ASX:TPM) have risen 3.08 per cent and trading at $7.70 Shares in iiNet Limited (ASX:IIN) and Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS) are also stronger.
 
The worst performing sector is utilities, falling 0.4 per cent to 6,541. Shares in APA Group (ASX:APA)have fallen 0.56 per cent, trading at $8.94. Shares in AGL Energy Limited (ASX:AGL) and DUET Group (ASX:DUE) are also lower.
 
Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,155 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7608

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