ASX gains 0.8%, Jobs fall 138k, Redbubble dives, South32 jumps on US$1.6b deal

The Aussie sharemarket is off to a bright start as the XJO is erasing losses from the past three trading days. At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.8 per cent or 58.3 points higher at 7,330. The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 76 points.

The gains are almost across the board with technology powering up, trading over 3 per cent as the best performer followed by property and materials adding over 1.4 per cent while healthcare is up over 1.3 per cent.

Energy stocks are under pressure after crude oil slipped on OPEC’s reduced estimate for oil demand. The sector is trading by over 1.0 per cent as the worst performer of the session with utilities, fractionally lower by 0.3 per cent.

BHP’s spin-off South32 (ASX:S32) are trading over 5.0 per cent higher after the miner revealed a US$1.55 billion deal for a 45 per cent share in a Chilean copper mine to increase their copper exposure.

Redbubble (ASX:RBL) shares dived over 10 per cent after an underwhelming trading update. The eCommerce’s revenue sunk 28 per cent while their EBITDA is down 85 per in the September quarter. One of the reasons why there was a fall was due to reduced masks sales that contributed $29 million in the third quarter of 2020, versus a $4 billion in this period.

Meanwhile, shares in Netwealth (ASX:NWL) are soaring over 10 per cent after the wealth platform provider revealed a 111 per cent surge in funds under administration (FUA) at $4 billion for the September quarter, when compared to the prior corresponding period. The company anticipates FUA inflows for the financial year 2022 to be at $12.5 billion from $10 billion on a bullish new business pipeline.

Rival platform provider HUB24 (ASX:HUB) are also on the move, surging over 6 per cent after they also celebrated record net inflows at $3 billion for the September quarter. Their FUA surged 139 per cent from the prior corresponding year.

After Collins Foods (ASX:CKF) inked a deal with Yum! Brands to expand KFC restaurants in the Netherlands, shares are trading 0.5 per cent higher on news that they are set to acquire nine KFC restaurants for $16.1 million (€10.25 million) from the second largest KFC vendor in the Netherlands.

Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) are trading over 1 per cent lower after run-of-mine coal production grew 15 per cent compared the same period last year. However, saleable coal production dipped 4 per cent lower. Despite the increase in the price of coal due to the energy crunch in Asia and Europe, their sale price was below the general coal price, though they believe that there will be “significant cash generation over the coming months” after the price of coal hit record highs said chief executive Paul Flynn.

Across some other big names, Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) are trading over 4.8 per cent higher after gold rose 2 per cent, Afterpay (ASX:APT) are up over 4 per cent, A2 Milk (ASX:A2M) are surging over 8 per cent while CSL (ASX:CSL) are edging higher over 1.5 per cent. Westpac (ASX:WBC) are leading out of the major banks by 0.8 per cent while Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) is up 1.4 per cent with BHP (ASX:BHP) rising 1.3 per cent. 

Local economic news

The number of jobs fell 138,000 last month, greater than the consensus forecast of 110,000, as the lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne put a dampener on employment.

The unemployment rate rose 0.1 per cent to 4.6 per cent in September from the 4.5 per cent in August as per the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The participation rate fell to its lowest rate since June last year to 64.5 per cent from 65.2 per cent in August.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Information Technology, up 3.4 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Energy, down almost 1 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Netwealth Group (ASX:NWL) trading 13.1 per cent higher at $16.16. It is followed by shares in The A2 Milk Company (ASX:A2M) and HUB24 (ASX:HUB).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Redbubble (ASX:RBL) trading 11.7 per cent lower at $4.03. It is followed by shares in Santos (ASX:STO) and AMP (ASX:AMP).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1792.20 an ounce.
Iron ore is 3.7 per cent lower at US$124.17 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 4.5 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.89 US cents.