The Australian share market closed lower for the second time this week, falling further below its eight day moving average. The ASX came under pressure today on the back of the falling Australian dollar and a mixed bag of economic news with some jobs data missing market expectations.
Half of the sectors led the drag with health care falling the most after Primary Healthcare (ASX:PRY) lost over 8 per cent.
As the risers, telcos had a good rally, jumping over 4 per cent with Telstra (ASX:TLS) dialing up a gain of over 5 per cent.
Miners boded the second best out of the sectors, with BHP (ASX:BHP) and RIO (ASX:RIO) clawing back up after slipping yesterday. At the open we saw the iron ore price fall 0.3 per cent to US$67.02, and now its futures point to a rise of 0.53 per cent.
At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 6.90 points lower, or 0.11 per cent lower, to finish at 6,017 points.
The Dow Jones Futures are suggesting a rise of 37 points.
The S&P/ASX 200 Futures are suggesting a fall of 10 points.
Value of trades
The value of trade was $5.8 billion on volume of 748 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), SHL and National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB).
The unemployment rate fell more than expected in May, dropping to 5.4 per cent from 5.6 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms. It comes as the RBA Governor advised yesterday that our employment rate should be closer to 5 per cent. UBS announced today with the unemployment rating dropping, it’s just one of the reasons why the RBA won’t hike rates.
Further to that, the ABS advised the number of employed people only rose by 12,000 in May (in seasonally adjusted terms), which was less than the market expected and the ASX started to lose momentum after this bag of mixed data came out and the ASX200 fell into the red.
In terms of the states that saw the strongest annual growth in trend employment terms, New South Wales continued to shine, leading the way [3.6 per cent growth], followed by Queensland [with 2.9 per cent growth] and South Australia [with 2.4 per cent].
Coca-Cola (ASX:CCL) made its way back into the news, after a long dry spell. It comes after it claimed one of the worst performing spots on the ASX today. A director on the board, Paul O’Sullivan snapped up an extra 6,500 shares in the company at $9.18 per share, taking his share holding to 16,000 CCL shares.
Shares in Coca-Cola (ASX:CCL) closed 2.85 per cent lower at $8.87.
Meantime, Qantas (ASX:QAN) advised the market that about 46 per cent [45.57 per cent] of its shareholders were foreign investors, as at 30 May 2018. Qantas’ constitution does not allow foreign interests in the company to go over 49 per cent. The flying kangaroo is also coming close to finalising its $378 million buy-back, with only $40 million of shares yet to be bought back. Qantas (ASX:QAN) lost 1.53 per cent today, falling to $6.45.
NetComm Wireless (ASX:NTC) has settled the legal claim involving Corning Optical Communications and advised the related Federal Court proceedings will be dismissed. The details of this settlement were not provided to the market, however the wireless broadband company advised it will not have a material impact on its financial position.
Magnis Resources (ASX:MNS) advised its 43-per cent co-owned New York Gigafactory has made significant progress, from receiving key equipment, to having key equipment installed, to having its production process design being almost completed.
Best and worst performers of the day
The best-performing sector was Telco Services, which added 4.55 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Health Care, which shed 1.40 per cent.
The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was IRESS Limited (ASX:IRE), which rose 8.00 per cent to $12.02. Shares in Orocobre Limited (ASX:ORE) and Beach Energy Limited (ASX:BPT) followed higher.
The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Primary Health Care (ASX:PRY), which fell 8.29 per cent to $3.54. Shares in Cochlear Limited (ASX:COH) and APA Group (ASX:APA) followed lower.
Japan's Nikkei has lost 0.99 per cent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng has lost 1.10 per cent and China's Shanghai Composite has lost 0.39 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at USD $1301.38 an ounce.
Light crude is trading $0.20 higher at USD $66.48 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 75.57 US cents.
Bitcoin is trading 1.42 per cent lower at USD $6508.78, Ethereum is trading 1.87 per cent lower at USD $487.46 and EOS is trading 0.38 per cent higher at USD $10.30.