ASX slips ahead of April jobs data

Share market investors have seen a dip on the ASX in early trading, with all but one industry sector trading lower.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was down 70.9 points, or 1.31 per cent, to 5351.0 points after the first 30 minutes of trade on Thursday.

The All Ordinaries index was 71.2 points, or 1.29 per cent lower, at 5442.5.

Property was the worst performing sector, down 2.42 per cent.

Financials fell 2.21 per cent, and the banks were not doing well.

ANZ was down 1.93 per cent to $15.26, the Commonwealth was lower by 3.1 per cent to $58.96, NAB slipped 2.43 per cent to $15.26 and Westpac fell 1.89 per cent to $15.02.

The only sector in positive territory was utilities – higher by 0.11 per cent.
On a downbeat morning there were some good individual results however.
Graincorp had a 6.08 per cent leap to $3.49, having reported a half-year profit of $388 million after the sale of its Australian Bulk Liquid Terminals business and demerger of United Malt.

Shaver Shop sprung by 40.7 per cent to 60 cents after reporting online sales have jumped 387 per cent over the last six weeks.

Kitchen appliances supplier Breville rose by 10.48 per cent. Its shares resumed trading today after a $94 million institutional placement.

Breville aims to raise another $10 million from a share purchase plan.

Elsewhere, the big miners were all down. Rio Tinto was lower by 0.79 per cent, to $83.06.

Gold miners were doing much better. Newcrest was one of the better performers, up 2.64 per cent to $28.74.

Meanwhile, attention will soon focus on unemployment data for April, which will reflect the full impact of the coronavirus-related lockdowns imposed in late March.

Economists on average expect a loss of 550,000 jobs from the virus impact, and the jobless rate to climb to 8.3 per cent.

US markets gave a weak lead to local traders after US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell pledged to use the central bank’s power as needed, but called for Congress to agree on additional fiscal support.

He cautioned that bankruptcies among small businesses and extended unemployment for many people remain a serious risk.

Following his comments, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 2.17 per cent lower at 23,247.97, the S&P 500 lost 1.75 per cent to 2,820 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.55 per cent to 8,863.17.

One Australian dollar was buying 64.47 US cents at 1030 AEST, down from 64.79 US cents at the close of trade on Wednesday.


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