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Jobs data sparks ASX rise

The Aussie market has snapped two consecutive sessions of losses following today’s weaker than expected October jobs data, reports CommSec.

 Shares were directionless for much of the morning but spiked following a contraction of 19,000 jobs last month compared to expectations of up to 20,000 jobs to be added, says James Tao, analyst at CommSEc. The unemployment rate also rose back to 5.3%.

 “The ASX 200 ended the day higher by 36.7 points or 0.55% to 6735. The disappointing unemployment numbers today and also softer wages along with retail sales in recent times has entrenched market expectations of further stimulus by the RBA with chances of a December rate cut lifting over the past few hours.

“February is still seen as the most likely month for the next rate cut as signs of subdued domestic economic demand adds to uncertainty around the global economy, with the phase one trade deal yet to be struck between the US and China.

“Having said that, there were solid improvements across most sectors today.” Consumer staples saw the biggest percentage gain across all sub-indexes with gains for supermarket Woolworths (WOW), up 2.4%, as well as a 3.3% lift for the a2 Milk Company (A2M). Tech, telcos and health names were also among big improvers.

· Nearmap (NEA) was one of the best performing stocks with a strong outlook provided at the tech company’s AGM today. NEA shares have jumped 14%. It was also a positive session for Afterpay Touch (APT) lifting 7.5% on several broker upgrades following a business update yesterday

. · As has been the case for most of this week, financials remained the main underperformers. National Bank (NAB) erased 9 points from the top 200 index as it trades ex-dividend. NAB shares ended 3.4% lower. Other major decliners today were childcare operator, G8 Education (GEM) which slumped 17.7% as higher wage expenses and soft occupancy growth weigh on earnings forecasts.

 · The Aussie dollar has fallen to one month lows of 68 US cents on today’s weaker than expected local jobs numbers and underwhelming Chinese retail sales and industrial production. Today, 2.7b units have traded worth $6.8b with 610 stocks higher, 533 weaker and 366 unchanged. Tonight, US Fed chair Jerome Powell delivers the second day of testimony to Congress.


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