Job vacancies suffer largest fall in history - ABS: Aus shares close 2.5% lower

Market Reports

by Ortenzia Borre

The Australian share market was lower at the open and continued to slide closing 2.5 per cent down at the end of trade. It's a sad day for the aviation industry, Qantas has cut approximately 6000 jobs as it comes to terms with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The airline will continue to stand down 15000 workers across Qantas and Jetstar as it focuses on becoming a smaller airline, but Unions have called for a halt in the decision saying the announcement is premature.
Almost 100 of its aircraft will remain grounded for upto 12 months. Qantas is seeking to raise $1.9 billion from investors through a share sale.

The Government has announced a $250 million support package for the arts and entertainment sector. The struggling industry has been hit hard during the pandemic as workers were unable to access job keeper payments.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 148 points lower to finish at 5,818.

Futures market 

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 87 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 15 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a fall of 23 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 165 point fall tomorrow morning.

Local economic news 

The number of job vacancies in Australia decreased by 43 per cent over the May 2020 quarter, the largest fall on record, according to new seasonally adjusted figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Job vacancies in the private sector fell by 45 per cent, and by 29 per cent in the public sector.

Falls in vacancies were seen in all states and territories. The largest fall was in Victoria, which decreased by more than half (52 per cent).

Three of the industries most heavily impacted by recent job losses also showed the largest declines in job vacancies. 

Vacancies in the Arts and recreation services industry fell 95 per cent, followed by Rental, hiring and real estate (down 68 per cent), and Accommodation and food services (down 66 per cent) says Bjorn Jarvis, head of labour statistics at the ABS.

Broker moves

Ord Minnett has rated AMP (ASX:AMP) as a Hold. The sale of the life insurance business has been approved by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand - the last hurdle for AMP and will release $1.1bn in capital. The broker considers the longer-term challenge lies with extracting value from the wealth management operations. Shares in AMP (ASX:AMP) closed 4.1 per cent lower at $1.78.

Looking at some more headlines:

Brickworks (ASX:BKW) has confirmed a 50/50 joint venture with Goodman Group for a warehouse development at Oakdale West in Kemps Creek.

CSL (ASX:CSL) will pay $US450 million for global license rights to commercialise a gene therapy program to treat haemophilia B.

Footwear retailer Accent Group (ASX:AX1) says online sales strengthened over the months of May and June.

Best and worst performers of the day

The sector with the fewest losses was HealthCare shedding 0.2 per cent and the worst performing sector was Energy shedding 4.4 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Polynovo (ASX:PNV), rising 4.1 per cent to close at $2.56. Shares in BWP Trust (ASX:BWP) and Brickworks (ASX:BKW) followed.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX:FLT), dropping 11 per cent to close at $11.46 cents. Shares in Ooh! Media (ASX:OML) and Webjet (ASX:WEB) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 1.2 per cent and the Chinese markets are closed today due to a public holiday.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,763 an ounce.
Iron ore price added 1.6 per cent to US$103.34.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 2.1 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.21 down at US$38.52 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 68.67 US cents.