SYDNEY, AAP – Shares had a short-lived rise and the Aussie dollar eased after Australia’s jobless rate climbed by more than expected.
The market on Thursday jumped momentarily after the jobless rate rose from 4.6 per cent to 5.2 per cent for October as more people sought work after coronavirus lockdowns.
Traders anticipate the Reserve Bank will baulk at raising rates while unemployment moves higher.
Foreign exchange traders sold the Australian dollar although it stayed within the 73 US cents band.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was lower by 52.5 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 7371.4 at 1200 AEDT.
The All Ordinaries was down 47.5 points, or 0.61 per cent, to 7689.9.
The market earlier reached its lowest level of the week after Wall Street investors worried about the biggest annual gain in inflation in 31 years.
All three major US stock indices fell after the consumer price index delivered a jump of 0.9 per cent.
Supply chains have not been able to meet demand for consumer goods since restarting from coronavirus shutdowns.
On the ASX, materials shares were the only ones preventing bigger losses.
Fortescue Metals surged by 6.47 per cent after a loss of more than two per cent a day earlier.
BHP was up more than one per cent on Thursday before its annual general meeting. Rio Tinto was higher by the same measure.
Ramsay Health Care first-quarter earnings dropped after coronavirus lockdowns stopped elective surgery in some countries.
The earnings were down 27.8 per cent to $197.4 million after parts of Australia, the UK and France were affected.
Shares dropped 4.44 per cent to $69.05.
Healthcare giant CSL was down two per cent to $307.91.
The banks had moderate losses. ANZ and Westpac were each down 0.17 per cent. The Commonwealth and NAB each shed less than two per cent.
Accounting software vendor Xero has bought US group Locate Inventory for $25.9 million.
Locate provides software that helps companies manage their inventory.
Xero’s first-half earnings fell 19 per cent due to more spending on sales, marketing and product development.
Shares fell more than five per cent to $139.61.
Explosives provider Orica posted a full-year loss due to a stronger Aussie dollar and fewer coal sales to China.
Geopolitical tensions between Australia and China were blamed for reduced thermal coal exports.
Shares were down 3.71 per cent to $14.78.
Energy shares were the biggest losers on the market. Beach lost more than three per cent. There were losses of more than two per cent for Oil Search, Santos and Woodside.
The Australian dollar was buying 73.23 US cents at 1200 AEDT, lower from 73.58 cents at Wednesday’s close.