A big surprise in the latest jobs numbers released by the ABS today sent stocks sky rocketing out of their early doldrums and also put a rocket under the dollar which jumped nearly a cent.
However a drop off in late afternoon trade saw the market end virtually flat.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 3 points up to finish at 5,126.
The value of trades was $4.7 billion on volume of 739 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC)
. Santos Limited (ASX:STO)
and National Australia Bank Limited (ASX:NAB)
On the futures market the SPI is 1 point up.
ABS jobs figures showed 58,600 jobs were added in October, well above expectations of 15,000. This brings the unemployment rate down to 5.9 per cent.
G8 Education Limited (ASX:GEM)
says it has entered into contracts to buy another 13 child care centres for a total of $29.7 million from various vendors. The latest purchase increases the number of daily childcare places by 1,000. There are now over 36,000 places across the portfolio per day. G8 Education closed 3.33 per cent higher at $3.41.
Medusa Mining Limited (ASX:MML)
says CEO Geoff Davis who was coaxed out of retirement on an interim arrangement will be retiring for a second time. A replacement CEO will be announced shortly. Shares in Medusa Mining closed 3.26 per cent stronger at $0.48.
Shares in Santos Limited (ASX:STO)
sank after emerging from a trading halt in which it announced a $2.5 billion capital raising and a new CEO.
Aurizon Holdings Limited (ASX:AZJ)
announced an extension of its existing on-market buyback of up to 107 million shares for a further 12 months.
Online jobs advertiser Seek (ASX:SEK)
has announced it will sell 100 per cent of its holding in IDP Education.
Novogen Limited (ASX: NRT) has announced that a patent application covering its drugs Cantrixil and Trilexium has been accepted in Australia.
Best and worst performers of the day
The best performing sector was financial excluding REITS adding 1 per cent to close at 6,806. The worst performing sector was energy, losing 3.2 per cent to close at 8,380 points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Computershare, rising 5 per cent to close at $11.12. Shares in Pact Group and Aurizon also closed higher.
The worst performing stock was Sims Metal Management, dropping 19 per cent to close at $7.76. Shares in Santos and AWE also closed lower.
Gold is trading at $US1,088 an ounce. Light crude is $1.16 lower at $US44.28 a barrel. The Australian dollar is buying 71.38 US cents