Midday: Aus shares fall on jobs data

Market Reports

Following mixed leads from Wall Street, the Australian share market rose early in expectation of ABS job figures, but fell when they turned out to be disappointing. At noon, the ASX is  0.07 per cent up. 
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 3.2 points up at 5,313. On the futures market the SPI is 3 points higher. 
 
Economic news

The ABS jobs figures showed an increase of 0.2 of a per cent in unemployment, bringing the national figure to 6 per cent. That’s the highest figure since July of 2003. Full-time employment decreased 7,100 positions but part-time employment increased 3,400.
 
Company news
 
Optus’ parent company Singapore Telecommunications Limited (ASX:SGT) has announced an 41.4 per cent increase in underlying profit on top of a 9 per cent increase in EBITDA despite a 5 per cent decline in revenue. Australian chief Kevin Russell put the result down to a focus on profit growth and improved customer experience. Despite the impressive profit figures, The Australian has reported telco has lost 134,000 mobile customers in the last 12 months, taking its total subscriber base to 9.4 million. Shares in Singapore Telecommunications Limited (ASX:SGT) are trading up 0.65 per cent at $3.11. 
 
To retail, and David Jones Limited (ASX:DJS) has reported a 4.7 per cent increase in total sales for Q2 of Fiscal 2014. Like-for-like sales increased 2.1 per cent and online sale were up 150% for the quarter, though DJ’s webstore also launched in Q2. Both women and men’s fashion and accessories delivered strong sales growth with CEO Paul Zahra saying both foot traffic and basket size had increased. Shares in David Jones Limited (ASX:DJS) are trading down 0.48 per cent at $3.13. 
  
The best and worst performers

Unsurprisingly, the best performing sector is Telcos, gaining 10 points to 1,788. Shares in TPG Telecom Limited (ASX:TPM) have risen 0.95 per cent and trading at $5.31. Shares in Singapore Telecommunications Limited (ASX:SGT) and Telecom Corp of New Zealand (ASX:TEL) are also stronger. 
 
The worst performing sector is Health Care, falling 99 points to 13,930. Shares in Primary Health Care Limited (ASX:PRY) have fallen 2.81 per cent, trading at $4.67. Shares in Cochlear Limited (ASX:COH) and CSL Limited (ASX:CSL) are also lower. 
 
Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,292 an ounce. The Australian dollar is buying $US0.8941.