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The Australian share market has clawed back a little of its early losses after better-than-expected employment figures.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was down 59.8 points, or 1.1 per cent, to 5362.1 points at 1200 AEST on Thursday.

The All Ordinaries index was 61.4 points, or 1.11 per cent lower, at 5452.3.

Both indexes had been down as much as 1.3 per cent in early trade.

The unemployment rate jumped to a seasonally-adjusted 6.2 per cent in April following coronavirus-related lockdowns but the spike was lower than the 8.2 per cent economists expected.

CommSec capital markets analyst James Tao said the jobs figures had more impact on the Aussie dollar than on stocks.

The dollar was buying 64.58 US cents at about 1130 AEST, but had slipped to 64.21 US cents at 1200 AEST.

The latest value is down from 64.79 US cents at the close of trade on Wednesday.

Meanwhile the energy and financial sectors have been the biggest drags on the ASX – lower by 2.22 and 2.15 per cent respectively.

Beach Energy was among the bigger losers – down 4.93 per cent to $1.39.

In banking, ANZ was down 2.25 per cent to $15.21, the Commonwealth was lower by 3.16 per cent to $58.93, NAB slipped 2.24 per cent to $15.29 and Westpac fell 2.02 per cent to $15.00.

Materials and utilities were the only sectors trading higher – by 0.2 and 0.14 per cent respectively.

That meant the losses for the big miners were not great. BHP was down 0.32 per cent to $30.91, Rio slipped 0.42 per cent to $83.37 and Fortescue fell 0.04 per cent to $12.17.

Gold miners were doing much better. Newcrest was one of the better performers, up 4.29 per cent to $29.20.

On a downbeat morning there were some good individual results however.

Graincorp had a 14.89 per cent leap to $3.78, having reported a half-year profit of $388 million after the sale of its Australian Bulk Liquid Terminals business and demerger of United Malt.

Shaver Shop sprung by 38.37 per cent to 59.5 cents after reporting online sales have jumped 387 per cent over the last six weeks.

Kitchen appliances supplier Breville rose by 10.24 per cent. Its shares resumed trading today after a $94 million institutional placement. Breville aims to raise another $10 million from a share purchase plan.

US markets gave a weak lead to local traders after US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell pledged to use the central bank’s power as needed, but called for Congress to agree on additional fiscal support.

He cautioned that bankruptcies among small businesses and extended unemployment for many people remain a serious risk.