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Aussie shares are off to a softer start on Thursday, with strong gains from energy and mining stocks not enough to offset losses elsewhere. The ASX 200 index is down by 0.3 per cent while the latest monthly jobs report was a touch better than expected.
While Aussie shares remains near four-month highs, in recent days the market has hit a bit of a wall, with the ASX 200 unable to push above 6150.
In April, 22,600 jobs were created (forecast 20,000) while the unemployment rate edged higher to 5.6 per cent (forecast 5.5 per cent). All the job gains were in full-time positions while the participation rate sits at 65.6 per cent.
The main weight on the market today is Westpac (WBC) which is down 3.6 per cent and is trading ex-dividend. Australia’s second largest bank by market capitalisation will pay investors a $0.94/share interim dividend on 4 July.
Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) is down 11 per cent following a media report of oversupply in China (one of its key markets). TWE said it feels “…comfortable with the sustainability of its operating model in China”.
Santos (STO) is down 2.5 per cent after resuming trade at 11am AEST. It received a revised takeover offer from US oil and gas investor Harbour Energy. Under the revised terms the private equity firm decided to not raise the amount of money on the table but has taken some steps to please its largest shareholders. STO shares are still up 22 per cent since Harbour approached STO around two months ago with an offer.
Toll road operator, Transurban (TCL) is down 2.2 per cent after the ACCC raised some concerns about its proposed 51 per cent acquisition of Sydney’s WestConnex roads.
A2 Milk (A2M) is up 3 per cent after plummeting by 13 per cent yesterday due to its revenue outlook. The infant formula maker said sales would be between NZ$900m – NZ$920m for the year (~$30-$50m below Bloomberg consensus).
Telstra (TLS) is down 0.2 per cent and remains near seven-year lows after warning of lower profits on Monday.
Myer (MYR) is giving back some of yesterday’s gains, slipping by 2.8 per cent. The department store owner surged by 16 per cent on Wednesday after a slight pullback in quarterly sales was not as bad as feared. Note that MYR is one of the most heavily shorted stocks on the ASX.
1.3bn shares have changed hands today worth $2.3bn. 501 stocks are up, 513 down and 352 are unchanged.
Published by CommSec