Australian shares have given up gains made in early trade after stronger-than-expected jobs data has reduced the chances of the Reserve Bank cutting rates in February. So far tech, industrials and consumer staples are leading the way while energy, communications and health care are suffering the worst declines. Stocks had hit as much as 6873 in early trade but now the S&P/ASX 200 index is just 9 points up 0.1 at 6,860. On the futures market the SPI is 5 points lower. Network service provider Service Stream (ASX:SSM) is the best performer on the ASX 200 is after news the company has been awarded a ten-year contract with Sydney Water.
Local Economic news
The unemployment rate has fallen to 5.2 per cent in November from 5.3 per cent in October. The decline was driven by a strong increase in part-time employment. The latest reading was below market expectations of 5.3 per cent with the number of unemployed falling by 16800. The decrease in unemployment has given the Aussie dollar a boost it's trading around 68.70 US cents.
Macquarie has initiated coverage on buy now pay later company Afterpay (ASX:APT) with an 'outperform' recommendation, saying the platform has a big growth opportunity in the US and an ability to differentiate its offering and hold its strong market position. The broker gave the company an initial price target of $38.00. Today shares in Afterpay (ASX:APT) are trading 1.5 per cent higher at $139.76.
Photo sharing company Tinybeans (ASX:TNY) has capped off its biggest year yet doubling its advertising revenue to around $3.5 million. The company has also featured as the Apple “App of the day” in the US and 100 other countries and cemented relationships with the likes of Lego and Macmillan Kids. Over the last 12 months shares in Tiny Beans have shot up 710 per cent and CEO Eddie Geller says in 2020 the platform will continue to grow registered and active users as the product growth team gets built out. Shares in Tiny Beans (ASX:TNY) are trading flat at $2.32.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is information technology, adding 0.7 per cent, while the worst performing sector is energy, shedding 0.4 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Service Stream (ASX:SSM) rising 9.8 per cent to $2.68, followed by shares in Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) and Adelaide Brighton (ASX:ABC).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG), dropping 3.1 per cent to $1.09, followed by shares in oOhMedia! (ASX:OML) and Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC).
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,475 an ounce.
Iron ore price is 0.9 lower at US$93.20
Iron ore futures are pointing to a lift of 0.2 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 68.70 US cents.