Jobless rate rises to 6.2% in April: The ASX closed 1.7% lower

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The Australian share market fell at the open and failed to gain momentum closing 1.7 per cent lower. Graincorp (ASX:GNC) rallied after releasing their half year results. Shares in Breville (ASX:BRG) also did well after completing its $94 million institutional placement As for the sectors today they all ended in the red with Materials losing the least and Energy coming in last.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 93 points lower to finish at 5,329.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 79 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a fall of 14 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a dip of 37 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 98 point fall tomorrow morning.

Local economic news

The unemployment rate increased by 1.0 percentage point from 5.2 per cent to 6.2 per cent. The larger than usual number of employed and unemployed people leaving the labour force resulted in an unprecedented fall in the participation rate by 2.4 percentage points to 63.5 per cent. Employment fell by 594,300 in April – the biggest monthly decline in jobs on record.

Company news

Aerial mapping specialist Aerometrex (ASX:AMX) is buying Spookfish Australia. Formerly listed as SFI, Spookfish was bought out by US major shareholder EagleView in late 2018 for over $130 million. Managing Director Mark Deuter says: “We look forward to welcoming these clients across into MetroMap following settlement.” Shares in Aerometrex (ASX:AMX) closed 6.99 per cent lower at $1.53.

Agribusiness GrainCorp (ASX:GNC) has reported a profit after tax of $388 million for the half-year ending 31 March 2020 compared to a loss of $58.9 million in the previous year. The period saw the sale of the Australian Bulk Liquid Terminals business and the successful demerger of United Malt.

The Shaver Shop (ASX:SSG) has seen a jump in sales during the lockdown period as more people turned to grooming at home. Sales jumped 32.1 per cent for the six weeks to May 10 2020.

Best and worst performers 

The best performing sector was Materials lost the least at 0.6 per cent while the worst performing sector was Energy, shedding 2.96 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Graincorp (ASX:GNC), rising 11.6 per cent to close at $3.67. Shares in Breville Group (ASX:BRG) and Charter Hall Group (ASX:CHC) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW), dropping 7.8 per cent to close at $3.65. Shares in McMillan Shakespeare (ASX:MMS) and Jumbo Interactive (ASX:JIN) followed lower.

Asian markets

Lower: Japan’s Nikkei has lost 1.7 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 1.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.8 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,717 an ounce.
Iron ore price is flat at US$91.63..
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 1 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.24 down at US$29.82 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 64.34 US cents.

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