The local share market is lower at lunch with the ASX 200 down 20 points or 0.3% to 5918 towards lunch and easing from yesterday’s best daily gain on the Aussie market since June.
The movement lower also follows Wall Street with US Fed maintaining its position to raise interest rates putting the brakes on US equity markets.
The main weight on the market has come from the resources space with both materials and energy sectors down around 1%. A sharp fall in crude oil prices has impacted energy producers.
Overnight, US crude inventories lifted for a fourth straight week by a better than anticipated 6.5 million barrels. Woodside (WPL) is down 1.4% while Santos (STO) is 1.1% softer, with both firms also releasing quarterly updates largely in line with market expectations this morning.
Materials have declined for a second straight session with BHP Billiton (BHP) remaining a major drag on the sector, falling 1.4%. Fortescue Metals (FMG) and Rio Tinto (RIO) are both improving on a 3.5% surge in the price of iron ore. South32 (S32) is also down 0.5% despite its September quarterly report indicating a 207% increase to its metallurgical coal production on the prior year. Although aluminium production was softer compared to 1Q18.
The tech sector is improving along with Afterpay Touch (APT) climbing 14% following a near 20% fall yesterday. The payment services company has responded to the recent media reports of increased regulatory scrutiny into its industry. The communications services sector is also advancing on the back of a 1.2% lift for Telstra (TLS).
The September jobs data has seen 5.6k jobs added for the month with 20.3k full time jobs added and 14.7k less parttime jobs. The market consensus was for 15k jobs to be added over the month. The unemployment rate fell from 5.3% to 5% mainly due to a dip in the participation rate (number of people actively looking for work). The Aussie dollar did ease against a stronger greenback overnight but did lift on the jobs data release. The AUD buys US71.25 cents.
So far, 1.2B units have been traded worth $2.1B with 488 stocks higher, 462 lower and 332 unchanged.
Published James Tao, CommSec