Positive employment data fails to save the day: Aus shares close 1.2% lower

Market Reports

by Michael Luu

Aus shares opened lower and continued to drift until the ABS’ release of better-than-expected employment data for August just before Midday. The fall picked up pace in the afternoon session, cancelling out gains from yesterday’s bullish session. Heavyweights Commonwealth Bank, CSL and the major miners were most responsible for the week’s worst trading day.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 1.2 per cent lower or 73 points down to finish at 5,883

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 274 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a dip of 38 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a loss of 150 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 88 point dip for tomorrow morning.

Local economic news

The unemployment rate fell by 87,000 to 6.8 per cent - 0.7 per cent below consensus.

However, stringent COVID-19 restrictions have pushed the unemployment rate the other way to 7.1 per cent in Victoria

Company news

Suncorp (ASX:SUN) is at risk of legal action from the Finance Sector Union (FSU) at the Fair Work Commission level. The FSU has raised concerns over the Suncorp (ASX:SUN)’s ambiguity about job layoffs as part of the bank’s restructuring process. The union expressed on behalf of affected staff members that many feel they have been underinformed or underprepared for a major restructure. FSU Queensland Local Executive Secretary Wendy Streets reveals that many are left out of the know about their job security.

Shares in Suncorp (ASX:SUN) are trading 2.3 per cent lower at $8.86.

Seniors’ accommodation and holiday property developer, Ingenia Communities (ASX: INA) has appointed Greg Hayes as an independent Non-Executive Director, effective immediately 17 September 2020.

Mr. Hayes possesses 30 years of experience in senior executive positions in a variety of fields such as property, infrastructure and logistics. These skills were demonstrated in notable previous roles as Brambles Executive Director & CFO, and directorships at Incitec Pivot Limited and The Star Entertainment Group.

Shares in Ingenia Communities Group (ASX:INA) are trading 2.4 per cent lower at $4.44.

Looking at some more headlines

QuickFee (ASX:QFE) has partnered up with in Splitit Payments (ASX:SPT) to launch a new interest free product, in a bid to increase the target market by 650,000 accounting and law firms in the US alone.

Mincor Resources NL (ASX:MCR) Board has approved the development of its 100 per cent-owned Kambalda Nickel Operations in Western Australia.

Best and worst performers of the day

The only sector making gains today was Utilities adding 0.1 per cent while the worst performing sector was IT, shedding almost 3 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Orora (ASX:ORA), rising nearly 3 per cent to close at $2.41. Shares in Fletcher Building (ASX:FBU) and Scentre Group (ASX:SCG) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN), dropping 9.4 per cent to close at $24.95. Shares in Breville Group (ASX:BRG) and Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.7 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has shed 1.4 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has fallen 0.1 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,943 an ounce.
Iron ore price is 3.4 per cent down at US$124.20.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 3.2 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.61 lower at US$40.11 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.67 US cents.

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