Employment and hours worked rise - ABS: Aus shares close 0.7% lower

Market Reports

by Ortenzia Borre

The Australian share market rose at the open before falling by noon and continuing to stay down closing 0.7 per cent down at the end of trade.

In a Covid update, New Zealand has entered it’s second wave of Coronavirus, recording 13 new cases overnight.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 41 points lower to finish at 6,091.

Futures market 

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 20 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 5 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a fall of 23 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 51 point fall tomorrow morning.

Local economic news

Employment and hours worked rose in July according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Seasonally adjusted employment increased by 114,700 people between June and July, and hours worked increased 1.3 per cent.

Head of Labour Statistics at the ABS, Bjorn Jarvis, said: "The July figures indicate that employment had recovered by 343,000 people and hours worked had also recovered 5.5 per cent since May. Employment remained over half a million people lower than seen in March, while hours worked remained 5.5 per cent lower.

The monthly increase in employment in July was underpinned by a larger increase in part-time employment than full-time employment. Hours worked rose 1.3 per cent in July, and increased more for females (2.3 per cent) than males (0.6 per cent). Hours worked for females were around 4.9 per cent below March, compared to 5.9 per cent for males.

Looking at some more headlines:

Telstra (ASX:TLS) to pay dividend despite 14.4% profit drop.

CIMIC Group (ASX:CIM) company CPB Contractors has announced another package win for the week, securing $107 million worth of work across Australia and India. The contracts are in addition to CIMIC Group’s Tuesdays confirmed awards, two contracts worth $128 million for resources and water projects located in Western Australia and Queensland. 

Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) has reported a 38 per cent increase in net profit after tax to a record $301.6 million compared to $218.2 million for FY19.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Consumer Staples adding 1.2 per cent while the worst performing sector was Communication Services shedding 4.7 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Treasury Wine Estates (ASX:TWE), rising 12.3 per cent to close at $12.85. Shares in AMP (ASX:AMP) and Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) followed.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was AGL (ASX:AGL), dropping 9.6 per cent to close at $15.36 cents. Shares in Breville (ASX:BRG) and Telstra (ASX:TLS) followed lower.

Asian markets

Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei has gained 1.8 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.2 per cent and the Shanghai Composite is 0.2 per cent up.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,932 an ounce.
Iron ore price added 0.3 per cent to US$131.51.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.4 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.18 down at US$42.49 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.72 US cents.