The Australian market coasted to a weak close after a falling dollar and a steady jobless rate.
Early trade on the ASX saw buyers emerge, a reflection from Wall Street overnight where the S&P 500 index was firmer by 0.5%.
However, the banks weighed on the market with Westpac closing down 0.56% to $34.41 and the others in similar territory.
Falling iron prices again worked against the miners with Fortescue down 8.46% to $3.03.
First, the scoreboard:
- S&P ASX 200: 5,506.10 -11.78 (-0.21%)
- All Ordinaries: 5,479.20 -13.61 (-0.25%)
- AUD/USD: 0.8618 +0.0022 (+0.26%
And the top stories:
1. Some are calling it a moderate result but today’s Australian Bureau of Statistics numbers on the national labour force showed 24,100 jobs added and the unemployment rate steady at 6.2%. Strong employment growth is one of the key ways the economy can bridge the gap left by the slowing mining investment boom. So far the economic transition has been slow and, if recent data is to be believed, it’s slowing.
2. The Australian dollar crashed to USD 0.8561, its lowest level since July 2010. Later it recovered to 0.8611 but it’s now well and truly below 87 US cents. Tomorrow’s Reserve Bank monetary policy statement will put further downward pressure on the dollar.
3. Ten Network confirmed it has appointed Citi as an adviser on its strategic options following reports of a possible takeover. According to reports, a number of suitors are eyeing off Ten, including Foxtel and the US giant Discovery Communications. Ten’s shares closed up almost 7% to $0.23.
4. Fairfax Media group revenues slipped 2% to 3% since the start of the 2015 financial year in July. Metro print advertising declines have moderated, the digital advertising environment is competitive, and regional and rural advertising markets continue to be challenged. Fairfax shares were down 1.3% to 80 cents.
5. Shares in Super Retail Group, which has Rebel Sport, jumped 12.2% to $7.91 after reports of an overseas buyer in the market. Shareholders are reported to have been approached by a broker in the last week seeking at least 5% of the stock on behalf of a buyer they understood was based offshore.
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