Aust shares edge higher after sell-off

·3-min read

The local share market has edged higher amid focus on Australia's labour market, making a modest recovery after Wednesday's sell-off.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 on Thursday closed up 14.3 points, or 0.21 per cent, to 6842.9, while the broader All Ordinaries gained 10.7 points, or 0.15 per cent, to 7082.5.

The market was up as much as 0.7 per cent at midday after an Australian jobs report for August, while strong, came in slightly under expectations.

Unemployment ticked slightly upward and not quite as many new jobs were created as economists had forecast.

"Today's employment result is not enough of a 'smoking gun' to justify the RBA continuing with large 0.5 per cent rate increases at the next October policy meeting," wrote Betashares chief economist David Bassanese.

State Street Global Advisors Australia SPDR ETF equity investment strategist Julia Lee told AAP that a smaller, 25 basis point rate hike next month seemed more probable after the jobs report.

"Initially the Australian share market rose on the numbers but by late afternoon, the gains post job numbers had disappeared," she wrote.

"For markets to see sustained confidence, we need to see discussion around the end of the tightening cycle."

Sectors were mixed on Thursday with energy the biggest gainer, rising 3.7 per cent following an overnight rise in the price of oil as the Biden Administration weighs restocking the US emergency oil reserve.

Woodside gained 4.3 per cent to $33.73, Santos gained 3.5 per cent to $7.96 and Beach gained 3.3 per cent to $1.705.

Coalminers also generally performed well, with Whitehaven Coal growing 4.6 per cent to $8.87 and New Hope adding 6.0 per cent to $5.82, although Yancoal dipped 1.4 per cent to $6.46.

But the mining sector was down 0.4 per cent, even as BHP added 0.4 per cent to $38.74 and Fortescue gained 0.9 per cent to $17.93.

South32, trading ex-dividend, dropped 7.4 per cent and Mineral Resources dipped 2.0 per cent.

The heavyweight financial sector made a strong recovery, particularly the big four banks.

CBA increased 0.6 per cent to $95.06, NAB added 1.6 per cent to $29.82, Westpac grew 1.7 per cent to $21.54, and ANZ increased 3.4 per cent to $23.74.

Other sectors saw losses ranging from 0.1 per cent to one per cent, with property the worst performer as worries about interest rates lingered.

Technology decreased 0.3 per cent with Xero down 1.6 per cent and Block down 1.8 per cent.

Tyro Payments sank 3.8 per cent following the announcement that the head of their health business, Jon Davey, would succeed Robbie Cooke as chief executive.

Pushpay sank 9.8 per cent after The Australian reported that the donor management system's potential buyout by Australian private equity firm BGH was unlikely to go through.

Select Harvest gained 13.2 per cent to a three-month high of $5.56 after the almond grower reported that market pricing had improved in recent weeks.

Myer closed flat at 63.5c in volatile trading as the department store reported its best sales start to a new financial year since 2006.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar was buying US67.56 cents, from US67.16 cents at Wednesday's close.


* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index on Thursday gained 14.3 points to 6842.9, a 0.21 per cent rise.

* The broader All Ordinaries advanced 10.7 points, or 0.15 per cent, to 7082.5


One Australian dollar buys:

* 67.56 US cents, from 67.16 US cents at Wednesday's close

* 97.06 Japanese yen, from 96.51 yen

* 67.83 Euro cents, from 67.32 cents

* 58.64 British pence, from 58.41 pence

* 112.54 NZ cents, from 112.11 cents.