The Australian sharemarket rose at the open trading as high as 0.9 per cent, before fading mildly as investors digested the August jobs report. The index was buoyed by blue-chip players after Wall St rebounded closing in the black. At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.7 per cent or 53.6 points higher at 7470.6. The SPI futures are pointing to a 59 points gain.
The gains are almost across the board with technology as the outlier, marginally lower by 0.2 per cent with energy stocks leading the charge, up 1.2 per cent. Materials and communication services are head-to-head gaining 1 per cent followed by utilities.
Optimism is in the air with the likes of retail and industrials conglomerate Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) agreeing to tie the knot, after they sweetened their deal to takeover Priceline owner, Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (ASX:API) for $764 million. Wesfarmers increased its bid by 17 cents to $1.55 a share after API’s board rebuffed the company’s initial offer in July. Shares in Wesfarmers are on the move, trading 0.05 per cent higher at $56.68 while shares in Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (ASX:API) are surging 16.5 per cent at 1.48.
Elsewhere, Domain Holdings (ASX:DHG) are trading in the red, by 0.1 per cent at $5.25 on news to acquire Insight Data Solutions. The $60 million deal that the company inked is set to expand their market beyond home buyers and real estate agents to financial institutions and governments.
Telstra (ASX:TLS) is rising 1.9 per cent at $4.00 after they revealed their T25 strategy which is set to catapult the telecom giant forward. The giant telco’s T25 plan replaces their T22 strategy, with the aim to deliver mid-single digit underlying EBITDA. They’ve outlined the goal to deliver $500 million of net cost reductions which is set to support dividend payouts.
Retail giant Myer Holdings (ASX:MYR) are on the move after their unveiled a bumper profit in their full-year results. Despite the rebound, no final dividend was declared. Shares are propelling 14.7 per cent higher at 0.585.
Meanwhile, BHP (ASX:BHP) is higher by 1.9 per cent, CBA (ASX:CBA) is up 1.1 per cent while CSL (ASX:CSL) are trading 0.7 per cent higher. Woodside (ASX:WPL) are soaring 2.6 per cent after after oil prices rose 3.1 per cent on lowered inventory. AMP (ASX:AMP) hit an all-time low of $1 trading flat at noon while South32 (ASX:S32) are 3.1 per cent higher on firmer metal prices.
Local economic news
The nation’s unemployment rate fell to 4.5 per cent in August, from 4.6 per cent a month earlier, despite lockdowns in New South Wales and Victoria according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Westpac group economists were expecting the unemployment rate to climb to 5 per cent as covered this morning.
Total employment fell by 146,300 against the expectation of 150,000 while the country’s participation rate fell to 65.2 per cent versus the expectation of 65.5 per cent.
Bouncing back from the havoc of Covid-19, department store Myers (ASX:MYR) unveiled a $51.7 million profit for their full-year ending 31 July this year.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is energy, up 1.2 per cent. The worst-performing sector is information technology, down 0.2 per cent.
The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Chalice Mining (ASX:CHN), trading 8.4 per cent higher at $8.00. It is followed by shares in Altium (ASX:ALU) and AUB Group (ASX:AUB).
The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Redbubble (ASX:RBL), trading 6.1 per cent lower at $3.84. It is followed by shares in Soul Pattinson (WH) (ASX:SOL) and Spark New Zealand (ASX:SPK).
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1795.70 an ounce.
Iron ore is 4.1 per cent higher at US$116.65 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 3.9 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.29 US cents.
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