The bumpy ride for the Aussie market looks to continue with the ASX 200 weaker by 95 points or 1.6% at 5897 after the first few hours of trade. This follows two successive days of decent gains for the benchmark index. Investors continue to weigh up both positive stimulus news and negative headlines relating to COVID19.
However, the latest economic release, May jobs data, disappointed as it missed economist expectations by some margin. In May, employment fell by 227,700 with the unemployment rate rising to 7.1% (highest since Oct 2001). This compares to the market consensus of 79,000 jobs lost with unemployment at 6.9%. Both full-time and part-time jobs fell significantly. The participation rate also dropped meaning less people are actively looking for work. Aussie shares fell to the lows of the day in the minutes after the release while the Aussie dollar also softened to 68.5 US cents.
Losses have been widespread and across nearly every sector. Leading declines have been financials, materials, consumer discretionary and communications. Consumer staples are the only sector with a small improvement.
Heavyweights like the big four banks and major miners are contributing most to broader declines. The big four banks are down as much as 2.5% while a fall in iron ore futures in Singapore has weighed on major miners with BHP Group (BHP) Rio Tinto (RIO) both down around 1.5% while Fortescue (FMG) falls 2.1%.
Airliners are also struggling with Qantas (QAN) down 4% as Australia’s national carrier looks to extend most international flight cancellations to late October. Air New Zealand (AIZ) is down even more with a drop of 5% as it expects a large slide in FY20 profits due to impacts of COVID19.
It has been a better day for Afterpay (APT) which hit another record high, a third day in a row, as it broke through $59. APT has since eased back and is currently 0.5% higher. Online furniture retailer, Temple & Webster (TPW) saw 2H20 revenue soar 90% on the year before with sales surging particularly during lockdown in April & May. TPW shares are up 6%.
So far, 2.2b units have been traded worth $5.6b with 407 stocks higher, 665 weaker and 341 unchanged.
Published by CommSec