Share market snaps five-day losing streak as jobs data outperforms

Jack QuailNCA NewsWire
Firmer than expected unemployment data has been revealed. Picture NCA Newswire/ Gaye Gerard
Camera IconFirmer than expected unemployment data has been revealed. Picture NCA Newswire/ Gaye Gerard Credit: News Corp Australia

Shares snapped a five session losing streak on Thursday, even as firmer than expected jobs data affirmed the traders’ view that the Reserve Bank would not cut interest rates until next year.

At the closing bell, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 gained 0.5 per cent, or 36.5 points, to reach 7642.1, while the broader All Ordinaries added the same amount to 7898.9.

In macroeconomic news, the Australian jobs market shed 6600 positions last month, pushing the unemployment rate to 3.8 per cent, falling short of consensus forecasts of 3.9 per cent.

But even as the jobs market showed some weakening, RBC Capital Markets chief economist Su-Lin Ong said it remained “healthy and tight”, and added to the narrative that the RBA would delay rate cuts.

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Camera IconDespite a small uptick in the unemployment rate, the jobs market held on to bumper gains in February. NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard Credit: News Corp Australia

“While most of the leading indicators point to labour market moderation ahead, it is possible that the starting point for the labour market is stronger than we thought,” she said.

“A patient RBA is likely to stay on the sidelines for some time.”

Traders have pushed back their rate cut forecasts in recent weeks amid concerns that inflation could prove more persistent.

Money markets have price out the prospect of any relief this year.

Eight of 11 industry sectors finished in the green, with the materials sector adding one per cent as heavyweight miners rallied, tracing an increase in the iron ore price which climbed 1.6 per cent to $US117.25 a tonne on the Singapore Exchange.

Rio Tinto advanced 1.7 per cent to $130.88, Fortescue rose 0.4 per cent to $25.10, while BHP added 1.5 per cent to $45.09 after it affirmed its production guidance for the current financial year.

Elsewhere on the benchmark, tech stocks added one per cent, with sector heavyweight Wisetech adding two per cent to $90.71.

The big four banks also finished higher, led by NAB which added 0.9 per cent to $33.45.

Meanwhile, energy stocks fell as crude oil prices retreated, with Brent crude trading below $US87 per barrel.

Sector heavyweights Woodside and Santos both fell 0.4 per cent, with shares at $29.45 and $7.69, respectively.

Camera IconStar Entertainment’s woes extended across the ASX, with its executive chair David Foster standing aside from his position at Bendigo and Adelaide Bank. NCA NewsWire / Nikki Short Credit: News Corp Australia

In individual stocks, Star Entertainment executive chair David Foster temporarily stood down as the chair of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank following allegations he spied on the government appointed manager of Star’s flagship Sydney casino.

Shares in the regional bank added 1.4 per cent to $9.73.

Shares in sleep apnoea company ResMed slipped 4.3 per cent to $27.63, following declines by its US counterpart on Wall Street last night.

The sell-off came after the release of new dieting drugs, threatening ResMed’s business.

Telix Pharmaceuticals vaulted 9.4 per cent to $13.72 following its March quarter results.

The company reported unaudited revenue of $US114.9m ($AU175m), primarily generated from sales of its prostate cancer screening product Illuccix.

Challenger rose 5.3 per cent to $6.82 after the funds manager reported that it expected net profit for the 2024 financial year to hit the upper threshold of its previous guidance.

Originally published as Share market snaps five-day losing streak as jobs data outperforms

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