Weak inflation eclipses employment falls: Aus shares close 0.4% higher

Market Reports

by Michael Luu

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The Australian benchmark index continued to build on momentum from weak inflation stats after midday. The ABS’ consumer price index signaled a below-consensus increase, relieving anxiety about possible monetary tightening. As a result, positive investor sentiment has made green the dominant colour across most sectors and led the ASX200 to close on a strong note.

Property players were thee star performers, as Real Estate Investment Trusts led the charge of sectors. Materials was the only sector to decline, as iron ore-mining giants all bucked record highs in the iron ore price

At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 was 0.44 per cent or 30.90 points higher at 7064.70.

Futures

The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a fall of 43 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a rise of 4 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a rise of 7 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 38 points tomorrow morning.

Economic News

Employment data released by the ABS for the first half of April showed a 1.8 per cent fall in the number of payroll jobs.

The ABS has also warned speculators against attributing the decline to the cessation of JobKeeper payments, citing “a seasonal fall in a range of labour market indicators, especially hours worked” around the Easter break.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Real Estate Investment Trusts, up 1.45 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Materials, down 1.04 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Downer EDI (ASX:DOW), closing 7.33 per cent higher at $5.71. It was followed by shares in Kogan.com (ASX:KGN) and Cleanaway Waste Mgmt (ASX:CWY).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Ramelius Resources (ASX:RMS), closing 9.22 per cent lower at $1.63. It was followed by shares in St Barbara (ASX:SBM) and Perseus Mining (ASX:PRU). Hong Kong's Hang Seng has gained 0.10%. Japan's Nikkei has gained 0.33%. 's Shanghai Composite has gained 0.02%.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1769.91 an ounce.
Iron ore is 0.90 per cent higher at US$195.31 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 0.40 per cent.
Light crude is trading $0.17 higher at USUS$60.85 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 77.49 US cents.