Australia’s share market traded one per cent higher in the first two hours, despite data showing business confidence and the number of jobs fell last month.
The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was up 61.8 points, or 1.03 per cent, at 6006.6 points at 1200 AEST on Tuesday.
The All Ordinaries index gained 61.5 points, or 1.0 per cent, to 6191.4.
The health sector led the gains, up 2.31 per cent.
CSL rose 3.03 per cent to $290.69.
There were gains of more than 1.0 per cent for materials, energy, industrials, property and telecommunications.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics weekly payrolls report has revealed the number of jobs across Australia fell 0.4 per cent over the month to August 22.
However, Victoria’s tough coronavirus restrictions were the main reason for the decline. Payrolls in Victoria fell two per cent while the rest of the nation saw a modest 0.1 per cent rise in jobs.
National Australia Bank’s monthly business survey had its trading conditions index drop six points to minus six points in August, unwinding most of the previous gain.
NAB Group chief economist Alan Oster said the decline was led by a drop in employment, suggesting that while the economy is improving, the labour market remains weak.
Miners were helping to keep the ASX positive. BHP gained 0.85 per cent to $37.37, Rio Tinto climbed 1.12 per cent to $99.04 and Fortescue rose 2.9 per cent to $18.40.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has promised rules which would force Australian banks to lower the cost of contactless payment for Kiwis, if she is re-elected.
Speaking while campaigning, Ms Ardern said it wasn’t fair that tap-and-go payments cost around 50 per cent more in New Zealand than Australia.
“It should be cheaper … it’s something that we have heard the call for, and we will be acting,” she said.
ANZ was up 0.16 per cent to $18.16, the Commonwealth lifted 0.9 per cent to $67.98, NAB gained 0.93 per cent to $17.77 and Westpac rose 0.4 per cent to $17.45.
Woolworths shares were down after it revised its management structure. The boss of the supermarkets division, Claire Peters, will take on a newly created role as head of B2B and everyday needs. She will oversee Big W, Woolworths International, wholesale and property.
Woolworths New Zealand managing director Natalie Davis will return to Australia to oversee supermarkets. A replacement is yet to be named.
Another position not held at Woolies before will be new business and partnerships managing director. Group portfolio managing director Colin Storrie will take the job.
Shares were down 0.41 per cent to $37.35.
Scentre Group, which runs the Westfield shopping centres, has collected 86 per cent of rent from tenants for August despite retailers struggling for sales amid the pandemic.
Many tenants have pleaded with landlords to suspend or reduce rent.
The 86 per cent of rent collected ($183 million) improves on the 82 per cent ($172 million) from July, 80 per cent from June ($168 million) and 35 per cent ($74 million) from May.
Shares were up 3.89 per cent to $2.26.
There was no trade in US markets overnight due to the Labor Day public holiday.
World shares rose slightly led by Europe after last week’s rout in US tech stocks, though investors worried that any rally could be short-lived against the backdrop of a global economy in recession.
European bourses, which have fewer technology stocks compared with the United States, started the week in the black, driven by a two per cent gain in Germany’s DAX and London’s FTSE 100.
The Aussie dollar was buying 72.76 US cents at 1200 AEST, barely changed from 72.77 US cents at the close on Monday.